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DIWALI TOUR – North India 2020
Diwali is one of India’s biggest festivals. Diwali is celebrated by Hindus all over India. As per Hindu mythology, Lord Rama returned back to Ayodhya from exile of 14 years after concurring Damon King Ravana. The people of Ayodhya welcomed Lord Rama by lighting their houses with Diyas (Earthen Lamps). They also distributed sweets to their friends and relatives. These traditions are still followed by the Hindus. In the evening Goddess Lakshmi is worship in the traditional way.
Goddess Lakshmi is considered to be Goddess of wealth, prosperity and happiness. It is also said that Goddess Lakshmi roams around the city to shower her blessings. To give free passage to Goddess Lakshmi it is a tradition to keep the doors and windows of the house open so that she can enter the house any time freely without any hurdle. Before Diwali, the houses are cleaned, painted and decorated with flowers, etc. Hindus visit their friends and relatives and exchange gifts and sweets. In the evening houses are lit with earthen lamps (diyas), candles and electric bulbs. The evening ends with sumptuous dinner and bursting of firecrackers.
Diwali is a festival of twinkling lights, shopping gifts, wearing new dresses, gleaming diyas, beautiful rangoli, decorating homes, bursting crackers and savoring delicious cuisines. It is no doubt one of the most awaited and biggest festivals in India that comes loaded with unsurpassed enthusiasm, high spirits, and endless joy.
All over the world, the Diwali festival is celebrated with extreme gaiety and enthusiasm. The festival is meant out to eradicate the evil darkness and bring back happiness into the lives of the people.
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You are met, greeted and escorted to the Hotel. In the afternoon, we leave for our city tour of New Delhi, visit Qutab Minar, the tapering monument begun in 1199 was built to symbolize the supremacy of Islam. This structure was eventually the prototype of all minars or towers in India. Our next stop is Humayun’s tomb, built by his senior wife and mother of Emperor Akbar. This is the earliest example of Mughal architecture in India. It is believed that it was this mausoleum, which inspired Shah Jahan to build the Taj Mahal. We drive pass the India Gate, Presidential Palace and Parliament House.
Overnight stay in the hotel.
After breakfast in the hotel, In the morning, we leave for a city sightseeing tour of Old Delhi. Old Delhi came into prominence when Shah Jahan moved his capital from Agra to Delhi. You visit 300-year-old Chandni Chowk market. A maze of lanes crowded with shops selling an extraordinary variety of items and food, the noise and crowds are a quintessential part of any Indian market. From here you continue to the Jama Masjid or Friday Mosque.
This is India’s largest mosque designed by Shah Jahan, and was his last architectural legacy. Originally it was called Masjid-I-Jahanuma, which means “mosque commanding a view of the world”. In complete contrast to the noise and crowds of Old Delhi, is Raj Ghat, a simple and stunning memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, the main architect of India’s independence. You pass through the Red Fort that dominates this area is the landmark. Built-in the mid-17th century by Shah Jahan, it was plundered by the marauding armies of Nadir Shah and later by British soldiers
Overnight stay is at the hotel.
Delhi – Samode – Jaipur
After breakfast, check out from the hotel and we drive to Jaipur, en-route visit of Samode. Samode according to the Rajputana Gazetteer of 1879 was a large and flourishing town. The Zamindars (landlords) of Samode the principal thakurs of the state of Amer were the Nathawat clan from Chomu, a branch of the house of Amer, tracing their relation to the Jaipur Maharaja the fabled Prithviraj Singhji the 17th prince of the house of Kacchwaha Rajputs. Gopal Singhji one of his 12 sons was awarded Samode, a noble feudatory of the Amer & Jaipur principality. Nestled among Aravali ranges, about 42Kms north-west of Jaipur, Samode Palace comes into view like a mirage rising above cobbled streets and stone houses of the Samode Village.
We get down from our car at the entrance gate of Samode Village and take our Camel. We proceed towards Samode Palace on Camel strolling through the village. We get down from our Camel at Samode Palace and visit the extravagant florid hand-painted Durbar Hall and the overlooking gallery which forms the breathtaking Sheesh Mahal or the hall of mirrors built in the middle 19th century is worth visiting. Samode Palace today is one of the finest palace hotels in Rajasthan. Enjoy the camel ride through the village
After visit we continue with our drive to Jaipur. Check-in at the hotel upon arrival.
Overnight stay is at the hotel.
After breakfast, we leave for an excursion to Amber Fort.
En route to Amber Fort from your hotel, you will have a brief photography stop at Hawa Mahal – the Palace of Winds. In the afternoon, we tour the city of Jaipur. We first visit the Maharaja’s City Palace, the former Royal residence part of it converted into a museum. A small portion is still used by the Royal family of Jaipur. Built in the style of a fortified campus, the palace covers almost one-seventh in area of the city. The main entrance leads to the courtyard at the center, which is the Mubarak Mahal.
One of the major attractions in the museum is the portion known as Armoury Museum housing an impressive array of weaponry-pistols, blunderbusses, flintlocks, swords, rifles, and daggers. The royal families of Jaipur once used most of these weapons. On the first floor is the Textile and Costume Museum, which is the fine example of fabrics and costumes from all over India.
After lunch, we visit the Jantar Mantar (Observatory), which is the largest stone and marble crafted observatory in the world built by Jai Singh from 1728 to 1734. Situated near the gate of the city palace, the observatory has 17 large instruments, many of them still in working condition.
Overnight is at hotel.
Jaipur – Abhaneri – Fatehpur Sikri - Agra
After breakfast at the hotel, we drive to Agra en-route visit of Abhaneri.
Abhaneri– It is a small village situated in the Dausa district in Rajasthan. This place is located at 95km away from Jaipur. We visit Chand Baoli (Step Well), is a famous stepwell situated in the village Abhaneri, one of the deepest and largest step wells in India. It was built in the 9th century and has 3500 narrow steps and 13 stories and is 100 feet deep, this village is also known for Harshat Mata temple which belongs to the 9th century. Only some portions of the ancient Harshat Mata temple remains now such as the sanctuary walls, fore chamer, and the terrace. The sanctum and shorn of this ancient structure is enclosed with an ambulatory. Enjoy the camel ride around Abhaneri.
At sunrise, we visit the world-famous Taj Mahal (Closed on Friday) built by Shah Jahan in 1630 for his queen Mumtaz Mahal to enshrine her mortal remains. This architectural marvel is a perfectly proportioned masterpiece fashioned from white marble that stands testimony to the sill of 20,000 craftsmen brought together from Persia, Turkey, France and Italy and who took 17 year to complete this ‘Love Poem in Marble’.
We return to our hotel for breakfast. Rest of the morning is free for independent activities.
After a relaxed breakfast we leave for the visit of Agra fort, built by Emperor Akbar between 1565 & 1573, reveals the Mughal talent for combining defensive architecture with beauty and design. This fort palace was begun by Akbar as a purely defensive citadel and was subsequently completed by two successive generations that added the delicate mosaic and magnificent marble palaces. The fort is the history of Mughal life in Agra and offers a magical view of the Taj Mahal
Afternoon we visit Itmad-ud daulah, one of the most beautiful of Mughal tombs, stands across the river Yamuna from the Taj Mahal, nearly one and a half kilometres up-stream. Belonging to the age of Jahangir, it contains cenotaphs of the parents of the powerful Mughal Empress Nurjahan, queen of Jahangir, exceptional beauty and an astute administrator. Overnight stay is at the hotel
Agra – Lucknow
After breakfast, check out from the hotel and we drive to Lucknow.
Lucknow – Lucknow has a very rich history and cultural heritage. Lucknow is the capital city of the district of Uttar Pradesh and an unparalleled tourist destination. The city is one of the leading centres of Urdu and Hindi literature and this reflects in the up-and-about cultural life of Lucknow. Lucknow is visited by thousands of people throughout the year to do trade, business or to simply visit the city of Nawabs. Lucknow is famous for its amazing food delicacies. Lucknow is also renowned for graceful monuments, architecture, dance and handicrafts. Lucknow Sightseeing Tour allows you the opportunity to truly experience the city appreciate its architecture and history and feel the spirit of ‘real Lucknow’. Lucknow is famous for cotton textiles and chikankari work from the ancient times. Lucknow chikan is perhaps one of the finest works of embroidery that one can find here in India.
Check-in at the hotel upon arrival. The rest of the day is free.
Overnight stay is at the hotel.
After breakfast in the hotel, we leave for city sightseeing tour of Lucknow.
After that we visit Chota Imambara, also called Hussainabad Imambara built between 1837 and 1842. This structure houses the tombs of the builder Muhammad Ali Shah and of his mother and is approached through a fine garden. This Imambara has a white dome and numerous turrets and minarets and the walls of the mausoleum are decorated with verses in Arabic. Chandeliers, gilded mirrors, colorful stucco, the King’s throne and ornate tazia or replicas of the tombs at Karbala adorn the interior.
From here we will be transferred to Rumi Darwaza. This beautiful structure is also said to be part of the famine relief plans for which the Bara Imambara was commissioned. Built in 1783, this gigantic gate is 60 feet tall as one of the famous landmarks of the city. We will stop by Picture Gallery nearby built by Nawab Mohammad Ali Shah with a life size portrait of the Nawabs of Avadh. Visit Hussainabad Clock Tower constructed in 1887. The clock tower is one of the finest examples of British architecture in India. The 221 feet tall structure was built to mark the arrival of Sir George Couper, the first Lieutenant Governor of the United Province of Avadh.
After delicious lunch at City Center restaurant, leave for Residency. It used to be an official residence of the British Resident built in 1780-1800. It is also a witness of the bitterest battles during the war of independence in 1857 and scars made by the cannons can still be seen on every standing wall. Visit La Martiniere College, one of the finest and the largest examples of European funerary monument in the sub-continent associated with its strange yet romantic past. After that we proceed to Dilkusha Palace that was constructed by Nawab Saadat Ali Khan as a hunting retreat. The palace is laid down amidst extensive parks near the banks of river Gomti.
We drive back to our hotel in Lucknow.
Overnight stay is at the hotel.
Lucknow –Prayagraj – Varanasi
After early breakfast, check out from the hotel and we drive to Prayagraj (Allahabad).
After lunch, we drive to Ghat (River Bank) and by boat visit Triveni Sangam (Meeting point of three rivers). Triveni Sangam where the three rivers, Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati meet. It is a holy spot and you can find many rituals happening in the place. The boats and the birds casting the perfect silhouette and the breeze from the land as boat leaves trails on the water, the calmness of the place starts sinking in.
After the visit continue drive to Varanasi, check in at hotel upon arrival.
Overnight is at the hotel.
After relaxing breakfast, we visit Sarnath where Lord Buddha preached his first sermon “Maha- Dharma-Chakra Pravartan” (in Buddhist terminology, ‘turned the wheel of the law’) after his enlightenment. Sarnath is one of the richest in Buddhist antiquities ranging in date from the times of Ashoka down to the 12th century A.D. Ashoka built here the Dharmarajika Stupa and erected a pillar surmounted by the magnificent capital of four adorned Lions, which today forms the national emblem of India. Among other structures at Sarnath are the ruins of the brick temple; the Dhamekh Stupa, adorned with delicate floral carvings; the Chaukhandi Stupa and Mahabodhi Society’s Mulgandha Kuti Vihar Temple. We also visit the Archeological Museum, with an extremely rich collection of Buddhist sculptures comprising of numerous Buddha and Bodhisatva images. Return to the hotel.
After lunch, we visit Bharat Mata Mandir and Banaras Hindu University – is a premier Central University and a world class educational institution located in Varanasi. It is regarded as the largest residential university in Asia. The fully-residential campus has more than 128 independent teaching departments in its 1350 acre campus.
In the evening at sunset we witness Aarti Ceremony (collective prayer) and watch the floating oil lamps on the river Ganges. The Ghats and temples are lit with oil-lamp lights or candles in the evening and people perform prayers.
Overnight stay is at the hotel.
Varanasi – Delhi
Early morning today we leave for a boat ride on River Ganges. We start our tour from Asi Ghat for a boat ride the southern end of the city where the Asi river meets the Ganges. We sail on the river Ganges and view various ghats where Pilgrims bathe in the ghats here to start their Panchatirthi pilgrimage. On the banks of the ghat, they pray to an open-air linga, the representation of the God Shiva and get down at the Manikarnika Ghat, here you can see the performances of ritual rites for the dead.
Return to the hotel for breakfast.
We visit Handloom Weaver Colony. The Sarai Mohana is well known for its silk weaving as most of the locals here are indulge in silk weaving. The Banarasi sarees made by these weavers are among the finest saris in India and are known for their gold and silver brocade or zari, fine silk and opulent embroidery and worn by Indian women on the occasions of festivals, in a marriage party. These saris are mostly used by Indian bride. The Varanasi saree is just one example of the unique collection of art and culture of the country. In the village of Sarai Mohana, we will get to know with the craftsmanship of the weavers with their distinct design. The people of Sarai Mohana are working hard on designing these sarees to keep its uniqueness. And to get result, a sari can take from 15 days to a one month and sometimes up to six months to complete.
We come back to the hotel.
Later we check out from the hotel & drive to Varanasi Airport for our flight to Delhi. Upon arrival at Delhi in the evening, you are met, greeted and transfer to the Hotel. Overnight stay is at the hotel
Delhi – Home
Today you will be transferred to Delhi International airport to board your onward flight to home.