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Fairs and Festivals Tour India

Tour Duration: 34 Nights / 35 Days
Destinations Covered: Delhi - Mandawa - Bikaner - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Ranakpur - Mount Abu - Udaipur - Chittorgarh - Bijaipur - Bundi - Pushkar - Jaipur - Ranthambore National Park - Agra - Orchha - Khajuraho - Varanasi - Delhi - Amritsar - Dharamsala - Chandigarh - Delhi

Day 1 – Arrive Delhi
Meeting and greetings on arrival at Delhi’s international airport and transfer to the hotel for overnight stay.

Day 2 - At Delhi
Morning after breakfast combined tour of Old and New Delhi. 
Old Delhi visiting Red Fort (no inside visit today as Fort will remain closed)- The red sand stone walls of Lal Quila, the Red Fort extend for 2 km and vary in height from 18m on the river side to 33m on the city side. Shah Jahan started construction of the massive fort in 1638 and it was completed in 1648. The Red Fort dates from the peak of Mughal power. The Mughal reign from Delhi was a short one. Aurangzeb was the first and the last emperor to rule from here. Jama Masjid- the Great Mosque of Old Delhi was both the largest and the final architectural extravagance of Shah Jahan. Begun in 1644, the mosque was not completed until 1658. It has three gateways, four angle towers and two minarets standing 40m (133ft) high constructed of alternating vertical strips of red sandstone and white marble. The courtyard of the mosque can hold 25,000 people. Take a rickshaw ride to Chandni Chowk - the main street of Old Delhi - the colourful shopping bazaar just opposite the Red Fort and visit Raj Ghat - the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi after his assassination in 1948.

New Delhi visiting Qutab Minar – 234 feet high tower. The Qutab Minar itself is a soaring tower of victory that was started in 1193, immediately after the defeat of the last Hindu kingdom in Delhi. It is nearly 73m(243ft) high and tapers from a 15m(50ft) diameter base to just 2.5m(9ft) at the top. The tower has five distinct storeys, each marked by a projecting balcony. The first three storeys are made of red sandstone, the fourth and the fifth of marble & sandstone. Also visit the Tomb of Mughal Emperor Humayun. Built in the mid-16th century by Haji Begum, the Persian-born senior wife of Humayun, the second Mughal emperor, this is a wonderful early example of Mughal architecture. The elements in its design – a squat building, high arched entrances that let in light, topped by a bulbous dome and surrounded by formal gardens – were to be refined over the years to the magnificence of the Taj Mahal in Agra. Drive past India Gate (War Memorial), President’s House, which was once the Viceroy’s Palace, Parliament House and Secretariat buildings.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 3 : Delhi – Mandawa (275 kms - 6 hours)
Morning after buffet breakfast at the hotel checkout and proceed to Mukundgarh by car Enroute visiting Mandawa and Dundlod,. Afternoon visit compact little town of Shekhavati region comprising of Forts and Havelis of beautiful frescoes. While touring this town a painted arched gateway adorned with Lord Krishna and his cows leads to the bustling bazaar. Overnight at the Fort hotel.

Day 4 : Mandawa – Bikaner (185 kms - 4 hours)
Solang ValleyAfter breakfast at the hotel drive to Bikaner and check in at Hotel on arrival. Afternoon commence sight seeing to visit Camel Breeding Farm – a unique experience where you can ride on a camel & have perhaps the first taste of camel’s milk. Later in the evening take an excursion tour to Deshnok Temple (Rat Temple) situated in semi desert village at a distance of 30 kms, this place is famous for Karnimata Temple where you will see thousands of rats roaming freely in the temple complex and are held sacred.

Day 5 – At Bikaner
Morning after breakfast at the hotel tour of Bikaner covering Junagarh Fort – constructed between 1588 and 1593 by Raja Rai Singh, Bandh Sagar Temple – The 16th century Jain temple and the town. Afternoon free to relax or to explore Bikaner on your own. Overnight at hotel.

(Bikaner has one of best sand dunes and is also ideal place for overnight camel safari where you can spend a night under the stars. If you will be interested for an overnight stay in the Sand Dunes than we shall ask our local contact to help you with the same).

Day 6 – Bikaner / Proceed to Jaisalmer by car
Afternoon breakfast at the hotel drive to Jaisalmer by car in around 6 hours and check in at the hotel. Rest of the evening is free to relax at the hotel. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 7 – At Jaisalmer
After buffet breakfast at the hotel leave for Jaisalmer by car (6 hours).  Morning sight seeing tour of Jaisalmer city visiting The Golden Fort of 99 Bastions, Manek Chowk, Patwon Ki Haveli and Salim Singh Haveli (the old Mansions with lattice work done on the walls). 
Afternoon proceed for an excursion to Sam Sand Dunes (1 hour drive) for Sunset view from the desert. You have a chance here again for short camel ride to view Sunset from the Sand Dunes. Overnight at the Hotel at Jaisalmer.

Day 8 - Jaisalmer / Jodhpur
Morning after breakfast at the hotel drive to Jodhpur (6 hours). On arrival check-in at hotel. Afternoon free to relax at the hotel and enjoy the facilities available.

Day 9 – At Jodhpur
Morning after breakfast at the hotel proceed for full day sightseeing tour of Jodhpur which will include a visit to the Mehrangarh Fort set on the top of the hill, Jaswanth Thada and a visit to the local market. Later visit Mandore Gardens. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 10 - Jodhpur / Ranakpur / Mount Abu
Morning after breakfast at the hotel proceed to Mount Abu (only hill station in Rajasthan) enroute visit Jain Temple Complex at Ranakpur. Sprawling over 48,000 sq.feet, the temple is an astounding creation with 29 halls and 1,444 pillars - all distinctly carved. Continue on to Kumbhalgarh. Check in at Hotel on arrival. Later time permiting City tour of Mount Abu, visiting Dilwara Temples consisting of five Jain Temples built at the beginning of the 11th century with intricate ornamental carvings represent the climax in the art of decoration in stone. Also visit Nakki Lake, Toad Rock, Achalagarh Fort etc.

Day 11 – At Mount Abu
Full day free to explore Mount Abu and its surroundings. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 12 – Mount Abu to Udaipur
Morning after breakfast drive to Udaipur and check in at the hotel.
City tour of Udaipur ‑ the romantic Lake City in Southern Rajasthan, famous for the stunning white marble Palace built on an island in the Lake Pichola. It was the former Palace of the Maharana and now converted to one of the most glamorous hotels in India.

Day 13 - At Udaipur
Morning tour of Udaipur city. The tour will cover the magnificent City Palace, the Jagdish temple, the pleasure gardens and a drive around the other nearby lakes. Afternoon explore this city of lakes on your own.  Overnight at the hotel.

Day 14 – Udaipur to Chittorgarh to Bijaipur
After breakfast drive to a small village of Bijaipur enroute visit Chittaurgarh Fort comprising of Man Palace, Padmini Palace, and Towers of Peace and Victory, you will be driving on this fort to cover all this places. After visiting Chittorgarh Fort proceed to village Bijaipur. Rest of the time free to explore this small village. You have option of going for village safari or horse ride here. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 15 – Bijaipur to Bundi
After breakfast, checkout from the hotel and drive to Bundi – Bundi, enroute visit Shiva Temple on the edge of a hill where Menal Water falls commence, this is a very scenic place, proceed to Bundi on arrival check in at the hotel. Later visit Taragarh Fort built in 1354 A.D., Bundi Palace, Chhattar Mahal, Ratan Daulat, Chitrashala, Nawal Sagar Lake, Raniji - Ki - Baori (Step well), Sukh Mahal, Phool Sagar, and eighty-four pillared cenotaph (All near Taragarh Fort and Bundi Palace). Overnight at the hotel,

Day 16 – Bundi to Pushkar
Morning after buffet breakfast at the hotel proceed by car to Pushkar. Visit Brahma Temple (only temple being worshiped in India), Holy lake of Pushkar and the town. After your visit to this holy town continue on to Jaipur and check in at the hotel on arrival. Rest of the evening free to relax from long day’s drive.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 17 – Pushkar to Jaipur
Solang ValleyMorning after breakfast at the hotel proceed to reach Jaipur and check in at the hotel. Aftenoon commence city sightseeing tour includes Maharaja’s City Palace - which occupies a large area divided into a series of courtyards, gardens and buildings. The outer wall was built by Jai Singh, but other additions are much more recent, some dating from the start of this century. Today, the palace is a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. The palace now houses a museum containing rare manuscripts, fine specimens of Rajput and Mughal paintings and weapons. Also visit Jantar Mantar- an observatory, next to the entrance of the City Palace, begun by Jai Singh in 1728. Jai Singh’s passion for astronomy was even more notable than his prowess as warrior and before commencing construction, he sent scholars abroad to study foreign observatories. Jantar Mantar appears to be just a curious collection of sculptures but in fact each construction has a specific purpose, such as measuring the positions of stars, altitudes and azimuths and calculating eclipses.

Evening free to relax. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 18 – At Jaipur
Morning after breakfast at the hotel visit Amber Fort - the ancient capital of the state until 1728. The fort is a superb example of Rajput architecture, stunningly situated on a hillside and overlooking a lake, which reflects its terraces and ramparts. Visit the Jagmandir the Hall of Victory glittering with mirrors, Jal Mahal and the Temple of Kali. You ride up to the ramp of this 11th Century Bastion atop a gaily decorated elephant (Subject to operation).

Afternoon free for independent activities. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 19 – Jaipur to Ranthambore National Park
Morning after breakfast at the hotel drive to reach Ranthambore National Park.

The Ranthambore National Park was the hunting ground of Maharaja of Jaipur. In 1955, it was declared a game sanctuary; in 1980, it became a national park. But with the commissioning of Project Tiger in 1972, it was included in the project. With the addition of neighbouring Keladevi and Mansingh sanctuaries, the total area of the national park stands at 1,334 sq km. But the entire park - the core area is just 392 sq kms - is not open to the public. The Ranthambore Park is set between the Aravalli and Vindhya ranges. Its deciduous forests were once a part of the magnificent jungles of Central India. The terrain is rugged and there are rocky ridges, hills and open valleys with lakes and pools.

Ranthambore is a heritage site because of the picturesque ruins that dot the wildlife park. There are lake palaces, 'chhatris', old fortifications and a majestic 1,000-year-old fort, overlooking the park. The lovely Jogi Mahal is located at the foot of the fort and gives magnificent view of the Padam Talao, painted white with water lilies. The Ranthambhore park is famous for tigers and due to conservation efforts, the tiger population has stabilized if not increased here. The tigers can be spotted quite often even during the day, at their normal pursuits-- hunting and taking care of their young ones.

Rest of the day free to relax. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 20 – At Ranthambore
Early morning and afternoon game viewing in the park. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 21 – Ranthambore to Agra
Morning after early breakfast at the hotel transfer to Sawai Madhopur Railway Station to board train for Bharatpur at 7.10 AM (train does not operate on Sundays). Met upon arrival at Bharatpur Railway Station at 9.25 hrs and proceed to Agra enroute visiting Fatehpur Sikri.
Fatehpur Sikri 40 kms (25 miles) before Agra - a cultural and imperial capital conceived and built by Emperor Akbar in 1569 and later abandoned due to scarcity of water. See the graceful buildings within the city including Jama Masjid, Tomb of Salim Chisti and Panch Mahal.

Afternoon visit the world famous Taj Mahal (Taj Mahal is closed on Monday) built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his second wife, Mumtaz Mahal, whose death in childbirth in 1631 left the Emperor so heartbroken that his hair is said to have turned gray overnight. Construction of the Taj, begun in the same year, was not completed until 1653. In total 20,000 people from India and Central Asia worked on the building. The Taj Mahal is like a silent rhapsody that you will carry in your heart. Also visit Agra Fort, constructed by Emperor Akbar in 1695 on the banks of the Yamuna River. Initially the fort was a military structure, but during Shah Jahan’s reign it had partially become a palace.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 22 – Agra to Orchha
Morning after breakfast at the hotel transfer to Agra Railway Station to board Shatabdi Express train for Jhansi at 8.15 AM. Meeting on arrival at Jhansi Railway and proceed to Orchha. Medieval town of Orchha - Orchha which has hardly been touched by the hands of Time. Orchha is famous for its palaces and temples built in the 17th and 18th century. The four main and important temples worth a visit are The Chaturbhuj, Janaki, Laxmi and The Raja Ram temples.

Day 23 – Orchha to Khajuraho
Morning drive to Khajuraho. Afternoon tour of Khajuraho Temples. The small village of Khajuraho is in the Chattarpur district that housed the Chandella dynasty in the 11th Century. Khajuraho is famous for the temples here which have some of the most exotic and breathtaking carving ever to be done by a Human hand. The temples classified as Indo-Aryan architect are in three groups covering an area of about 08 square miles. The western Group is the largest and most important. The whole afternoon is spent visiting these temples.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 24 – Khajuraho to Varanasi
Morning after breakfast at the hotel transfer to airport to board flight to Varanasi at 1.30 PM. Meeting on arrival Varanasi airport at 2.10 PM and transfer to the hotel. Rest of the day free to relax. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 25 – At Varanasi
Early morning boat ride on the river Ganges, where you can see hundreds of devotees offering prayers to the sun god, and rinsing them selves of all their sins in this holy river. After breakfast, the morning is spent in looking around the city. Varanasi or Kashi as it was called in the 7th century B.C has been the religious capital of the Hindu faith since recorded time and is one of the oldest cities in the world and a hub of firmly rooted traditions. The old city of Varanasi is a maze of small streets and alleyways, hiding in disorderly array no less than 2000 temples and shrines. Domes, minarets, pinnacles and towers, and derelict 18th century palaces dominate the sacred left bank of the river Ganges. Afternoon excursion to Sarnath - 10 kms from the centre of the city, Sarnath symbolises the birth of Buddhism. It was here that Lord Buddha revealed his doctrine and founded his monastic community. The Museum at Sarnath is amongst the most important in India and contains carvings representing a whole range of styles - Archaic, the covering work of sculptors from 3rd century B.C. to the 12th century A.D. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 26 – At VaranasiSolang Valley
Full day free in Varanasi to explore more of temples and narrow streets of this religious city. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 27 – Varanasi to Delhi by overnight train
Morning free in Varanasi. Evening transfer to Varanasi Railway Station to board overnight train for Delhi. Overnight on board.

Day 28 – Arrive Delhi
Met upon arrival at Delhi Railway Station and transfer to the hotel. Rest of the day free to relax from long train ride. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 29 – Delhi to Amritsar
Early morning transfer to New Delhi Railway Station to board Shatabdi Express Train for Amritsar at 7.20 AM OR FLY. Breakfast will be served by the train as part of the ticket. Meeting and greetings on arrival at Amritsar at 1.10 PM and transfer to the Hotel.

Afternoon city Tour of Amritsar visiting the famous "The Golden Temple" and Jhalianwala Bagh. Evening time permitting visit Bagah border (India & Pakistan border) to witness closing ceremony retreat. Overnight at the hotel.

Amritsar, literally meaning "holy pool of nectar",  is the home to the Harmandir Sahib, also known as  the Golden Temple, and is the spiritual and cultural centre of the Sikh Religion. Founded by the fourth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Ramdas, it was completed by his successor Guru Arjan Dev.  Work began in 1573 on digging the holy pool. In 1601 Harmandir Sahib was completed and 3 years later, the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh Holy Book was placed there.

Day 30 – Amritsar to Dharamsala
Early in the morning visit The Golden Temple once again. Later after breakfast at the hotel drive to Dharamsala and check in at the hotel on arrival. Rest of the time free to relax.

Dharamsala - Set against the backdrop of the dramatic Dhauladhar mountains, Dharamsala is perched on the high slopes in the upper reaches of Kangra Valley. The town is divided into two distinct and widely separated sections, Upper and Lower Dharamsala, which differ almost a thousand metres in height.

Today, Dharamsala has become the synonymous to the Tibetan government in exile and the home of Tibetan leader Dalai Lama. Even if the Tibetan community dominates the town, still it has retained the colonial lifestyle and British fervour.

Dharamsala over looks the plains and is surrounded by dense pine trees and Deodar forests. A nearby snowline with numerous streams and cool healthy atmosphere makes the surroundings very attractive.

Day 31 – At Dharamsala
Morning after breakfast at the hotel visit the Tibetan Market and Dalai Lama's Monastery, Tibetan School and other places of interest. Overnight stay at the hotel.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 32 – At Dharamsala
Full day free to explore this Tibetan settlement town on your own. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 33 – Dharamsala to Chandigarh
Drive towards Chandigarh, the first well organized city of India. Arrive at Chandigarh and check into the hotel. Enjoy the city tour of Chandigarh visiting the lake and the world famous rock gardens. Overnight stay at the hotel.

The city of Chandigarh nestles in the picturesque valley surrounded by Shiwalik Hills. A unique fact about the city is that the city serves as the twin capital of two northern states of Punjab and Haryana but belongs to none of them. It is a Union Territory, directly under the administration of the Government of India.

The city derives the name from Shri Chandika, the goddess of power, whose temple lies in the northeast of the city.

Day 34 – Chandigarh to Delhi
Morning after breakfast proceed to Delhi by car in around 5 hours time. Arrive and check in at the hotel. Rest of the day free for last minute shopping etc. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 35 – Depart Delhi
Transfer to the airport in time to board flight for onward destination.

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DISCOVERY FULL CIRCLE TOURS
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