Cultural Splendor of Indian Festivals

Detail Itinerary

Day 1 Arrival in Delhi
Today, you’ll arrive at New Delhi, the capital city of India. Upon your arrival, you will be met by our representative at the Indira Gandhi International Airport. After a warm welcome, you will be transferred to your hotel for 2 nights’ stay.

Overnight Stay in Colonel's Retreat, Delhi
Day 2 Sightseeing in Delhi
Today, enjoy the day discovering Old Delhi and drive Past the majestic Red Fort spread over an area of 2 km. Visit India’s largest mosque - Jama Masjid. Travel through the bustling market and take a cycle rickshaw ride through narrow alleys and lanes in Chandni Chowk. Apart from all this, you will also get the opportunity to enjoy a walking tour with your guide through the largest spice market in Asia called Khari Baoli along with some local area.

Also, visit Raj Ghat. it is a black marble platform that marks the spot of Mahatma Gandhi's cremation, Antyeshti (Antim Sanskar) on 30 January 1948, a day after his assassination.

Later, enjoy a short guided walk in Rajpath area and see President's House, Parliament House and other Government Secretariat Buildings- the most imposing “Cultural Splendors of Indian Festivals” features of Lutyen’s Delhi. Take a photo stop at the iconic war memorial arch - the India Gate.

Visit the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, the largest Sikh temple of Delhi, with a gold dome, still in active worship .Thereafter, visit Humayun's Tomb, the tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun in Delhi, India, commissioned by his first wife.

In the evening, visit the Akshardham Complex. It is a Hindu temple and a spiritual- cultural campus in New Delhi, India. Also referred to as Swaminarayana Akshardham, the complex displays millennia of traditional Hindu and Indian culture, spirituality, and architecture.

Witness the Sahaj Anand Water Show – Light & Sound Show.

The Sahaj Anand Water Show is a breathtaking 24-minute presentation which unites a variety of intriguing media to bring to life a story from the Kena Upanishad. Multicolor lasers, video projections, underwater flames, water jets, and surround sound in sync with lights and the live actors produce a captivating and inspiring presentation. International experts contributed their expertise with BAPS volunteers and sadhus to produce this one-of-a-kind presentation.

Stay overnight in Colonel's Retreat, Delhi
Day 3 FLY from Delhi to Jodhpur
This morning, fly to Jodhpur, a city ringed by high stone walls with seven gates and several bastions. This second largest city of Rajasthan was founded by Rao Jodha in 1459 A.D. Owing to its unique pale blue architecture; Jodhpur is often referred as the ‘blue hued city’ of Rajasthan.

Upon arrival, check in at your hotel and freshen up.

Overnight Stay Pal Haveli, Jodhpur
Day 4 Sightseeing Jodhpur
Today, visit the rock-solid Mehrangarh Fort, and the grand palaces within the fort – Moti Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Phool Mahal, Sileh Khana and Daulat Khana, which are impressive examples of architectural excellence. Near the fort complex stands the Jaswant Thada, and a group of royal cenotaphs made of white marble. While in Jodhpur, shop for the exquisite handcrafted articles such as embroidered shoes, metal curios, and silverware, paintings and tie and dye fabrics.

Rest of the day at leisure or free for independent activities.

Overnight Stay Pal Haveli, Jodhpur
Day 5 Drive to Jodhpur – Pushkar via Nimaj [190 Kms / 04 Hrs]
Today, post-breakfast, proceed on your drive towards Pushkar. En route, visit Nimaj Palace for Lunch.

Upon arrival, check in at your hotel and freshen up.

Proceed to visit the Pushkar Fair.

Overnight Stay at Nimaj Kothi / Dera Masuda
Day 6 Discover Pushkar Fair
Winding their way down tracks across hills under the blazing sun and onto the yellow shifting sands arrive merchants, herders and traders, on camels, horses, and on foot to one of the largest camel fair in the country.

Pushkar is a small town, believed to be one of the most ancient surviving cities of India, and one of the five, held most sacred by Hindu religion. The beautiful lake emerged where the rose petals from Brahma’s (the Supreme Creator) flower fell. Innumerable temples including the only Brahma temple surround the enormous pool of water. The clear skies in their varying hues of blue, white, yellow, and gold giving way to pitch black darkness reflected in the tranquil waters, bestow a calm mesmerizing serenity in this otherwise.

The Pushkar Fair is held every year, on the full moon of Kartik month of the Hindu calendar. Although it’s the largest camel fair, horses, cows, goats, and sheep are also sold here. Bedecked in brightly dyed, printed, and embroidered clothes, wearing outrageously oversized jewellery of tinkling bells, the animals manage to shine over their human competition. Proud owners astride their elegant camels sashay down the runway showing off their beloved’s beauty made resplendent by careful and painstaking effort. Yet others are more interested in showing off their favorite animal’s prowess in carrying the maximum numbers on its back. When people gather in Rajasthan, can the dancers and musicians, the folk singers, and craftspeople be far behind?

Do be a part of this exuberant, colorful and boisterous five-day fair.

Overnight Stay at Nimaj Kothi / Dera Masuda
Day 7 Drive from Pushkar – Jaipur [150 Kms – 3 Hrs]
Today, post breakfast, proceed on your drive towards Jaipur - land of the Rajputs. Jaipur is an exuberance of color, dance and traditional arts and crafts. Known as the 'Pink City', Jaipur is home to ancient forts and palaces and is one of India's most well-planned cities.

Upon arrival, check in at your hotel for 02 nights’ stay.

This afternoon, take a photo stop at the Hawa Mahal, Palace of the Winds, with its unique layer-cake honeycomb windows designed to enable erstwhile women of the royal court to observe passing life without being seen; Jantar Mantar, the largest astronomical observatory built in stone, and the City Palace complex with its impressive gardens and museums.

Overnight Stay at Alsisar Haveli, Jaipur
Day 8 Discover Jaipur
Rise early this morning to visit Jaipur’s famous Amber Fort. En route, take a guided walk through the flower market of Jaipur seeing the beautiful yellow and orange marigolds and other seasonal flowers being traded. In close vicinity is also the wholesale vegetable market where farmers bring fresh produce to begin the day’s trading. Walking through the markets brings you to a junction where you will find the interesting and unusual milk traders of Jaipur, who bring their cattle’s fresh milk to be tested for quality, priced and traded on the spot. Be amazed at the primitive technique of testing quality of milk by dipping hands into large metal milk containers and evaluating the creaminess of milk supplied!

After a brief walk through the local trading markets, drive onwards to visit Amber fort, built in the 16th century. The fort is a mesmerizing blend of Hindu and Mughal architecture. The Amber Fort was used by the Rajputs for the dual purpose of defense and private residence. The fort encompasses charming gardens and magnificent palaces made from marble and precious stones, richly decorated with intricate stonemason works and paintings, which represented royal splendor and luxury of the Rajput era. To ascend up the fort, you may choose to walk or drive. This evening, visit local markets and explore many facets of Jaipur crafts such as semi-precious jewels, pottery, colorful embroidered fabrics with mirror work, woven carpets etc – watch artisans at work and enjoy souvenir shopping in this colorful city of Jaipur.

Overnight Stay at Alsisar Haveli, Jaipur
Day 9 Drive from Jaipur to Agra via Fatehpur Sikri [05 Hrs Approximately]
After breakfast, embark on a leisurely drive to Agra, city of the world famous Taj Mahal. En route Agra, visit Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. It is a famous avifauna sanctuary that hosts thousands of rare and highly endangered birds such as the Siberian Crane during the winter season. Over 230 species of birds are known to have made the National Park their home and it is also a declared World Heritage Site.

Later, visit Fatehpur Sikri, the capital city of the Mughal Empire in the 16th century. Continue driving to Agra, and upon arrival, check in at your hotel for 01 nights’ stay

Overnight Stay at ITC Mughal, Agra
Day 10 Discover Taj Mahal; Drive from Delhi to Agra [240 Kms / 04 Hrs]
This morning, witness the surreal views of the Taj Mahal. Step inside this eternal symbol of love and appreciate the intricate designs and symmetries that rhyme as a poem written in marble. Taj Mahal is an extravagant display of love, built by Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. You may choose to wake up early to witness the glistening white marble beauty at sunrise.

Then, visit the splendid Agra Fort built in red sandstone, encapsulating magnificent palaces, halls of public, private audience & beautiful gardens.

Later in time proceed on your drive back to Delhi and get transferred to the airport to catch your flight to Varanasi-the spiritual capital of India (also known as Kashi and Benaras).

Upon arrival in Varanasi, check into your hotel.

Overnight Stay at Guleria Kothi, Varanasi
Day 11 Discover Dev Diwali
This Morning, enjoy Dev Deepawali, which is celebrated every year on Kartik Poornima, falls 15 days after Diwali, and is more like an extended celebration of the biggest festival of India! It is celebrated in Varanasi, which for most travelers is nothing less than a dream destination. The traditional ceremony is an elaborate affair starting with offering prayers to Lord Ganesha, followed by the deepdaan or offering the diyas (earthen lamps) at each and every ghat while the priests chant Vedic mantras in the background. It is magnificent and a sight to behold leaving the visitors spellbound! Also, the Ganga Aarti, performed on the evening of Dev Deepavali is the most elaborately performed one throughout the year! Picture this - devotees taking a holy dip in the river Ganges, a ritual that is believed to help wash off the sins, alongside the ghats with continuous chants and prayers being offered in the backdrop, with beautiful diyas floating in the water and sparkling fireworks decorating the sky. The actual sight is divine and is sure to leave a lasting imprint in everyone’s minds. Don’t miss out on visiting this spiritual, peaceful city of lights during the festival of Dev Deepavali and take in the elements, culture, tradition, spirituality, and inner peace.

Overnight Stay at Guleria Kothi, Varanasi
Day 12 Discover Dev Diwali
Rise early to enjoy a sunrise boat cruise on the Holy River Ganges. See the ‘bathing ghats’ where thousands of pilgrims pay homage to the Sun God by immersing themselves in the holy water of River Ganges, and the ‘burning ghats’ where cremations are conducted. The ghats of River Ganges in Varanasi are believed to be most sacred, engulfing the entire circle of life and death.

Follow the boat cruise with a guided walk through the old city, seeing morning life in the historic and ancient bylanes of Varanasi. You get an opportunity to closely observe some morning rituals at the various small street temples along the way. The most sacred and important temple here is Kashi Vishvanath temple. Return to the hotel for breakfast and freshen up.

This afternoon, visit Bharat Mata Temple, the only temple in India that is not dedicated to a God or Goddess. This unique temple is dedicated to Mother India, and features a unique relief map of India, carved out of marble, the largest of its kind in the world.

Then visit Sarnath, the place where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon. Sarnath was a renowned school of learning from 6th century BC to 12th century AD. The lion capital of Ashoka pillar at Sarnath is the national emblem of India. Visit the ruins, stupas, Buddhist temple, and the Sarnath Museum.

This evening, experience a rickshaw ride to the ghats to enjoy the grand ‘Aarti’ Ceremony at Dasaswamedh Ghat, conducted every day at sunset by white-robed priests. Spiritually enlightening and fantastically photogenic, this evening Aarti ceremony is a spectacular show with young priests in traditional Indian clothes swaying in seemingly choreographed movements, worshiping the river goddess with incense, flowers, and earthen lamps.

Overnight Stay at Guleria Kothi, Varanasi
Day 13 FLY from Varanasi to Mumbai
This morning post breakfast, leave for Varanasi airport to take your flight to Mumbai.

Upon arrival in Mumbai, check-in at your hotel for 02 nights’ stay and later this afternoon, take a city tour of Mumbai visiting the Gateway of India, built in 1911 to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to India; Prince of Wales Museum, built in early 20th century in Indo-Saracenic style architecture, housing a priceless collection of art, sculptures, china and other antiques; Mani Bhavan, Mahatma Gandhi’s home during his stay in Mumbai, which shows glimpses of Gandhi’s life and houses a library of books written by or about Gandhi.

Overnight Stay at Taj President, Mumbai
Day 14 Sightseeing in Mumbai
This morning, enjoy an excursion tour to the rock cut (located 10 Km from the Gateway of India, Mumbai). A short shared ferry ride takes you across the harbour to the island of Elephanta for a visit to The Great Cave Temple, which dates back to 550 A.D. Elephanta’s most striking figure represents the three aspects of Shiva – the creator, preserver and destroyer While driving in Mumbai you get an opportunity to observe and take photo stops at some famous landmark sites such as Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST – previously called ‘Victoria Terminus’), Mumbai’s most famous railway station, a brilliant specimen of Victorian Gothic style architecture in India; Dhobi Ghat, the open air launderette, Nariman Point and Marine Drive Queens Necklace view.

Overnight Stay at Taj President, Mumbai
Day 15 Departure from India
This morning, enjoy breakfast and later in time you will be transferred to airport to board your international flight back to home.
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