Arrive by International flight , after traditional 'Swagat' (Welcome) Caper's representative would assist you at airport & transfer to hotel for check in.
Delhi is a bustling metropolis, which successfully combines in its folds the ancient with modern. Its strategic location was the prime reasons why successive dynasties chose it as their seat of power. In fact, more mythological cities are believed to be here, like the city of Indraprastha from the Hindu epic Mahabharata, founded around 5000 BC. Numerous monuments were built over several centuries by different rulers like Qutub-ud-din Aibek, Alauddin Khilji, Tughlaks, Humayun & Shah Jahan, who built the Walled City Shah Jahanabad.
Later in first half of 20th century much of New Delhi was planned by Sir Edwin Lutyens, who laid out a grandiose central administrative area as a testament to British rule in India. The division in walled city & New Delhi also marks the division in life styles.
After breakfast, proceed for guided city tour of Old & New Delhi. Old Delhi, the 17th century walled city of Shah Jahanabad, Visiting the great Jama Masjid, the principal mosque of Old Delhi. Built in the year 1656 AD by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, it is the largest & best known mosque in India. Later we walk down through Chandni Chowk & enjoy the rickshaw ride, the old marketplace of Shah Jahanabad now a picturesque bazaar to reach Red Fort, built in the year 1648 by Shah Jehan.
New Delhi, we visit Raj Ghat, memorial to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. It is a simple black marble platform that marks the spot of his cremation20on 31 January 1948. Further we drive past India Gate, memorial built in the year 1931 to commemorate the Indian soldiers who died in the World War I & the Afghan Wars. The names of the soldiers who died in these wars are inscribed on the walls. President's House, the official residence of the President of India, built in the year 1931. Until 1950 it was known as Viceroy's House & served as the residence of the Governor-General of British India. We will also visit Humayun's Tomb, memorial of Mughal Emperor Humayun, built in the year 1562. The complex is a World Heritage Site & the first example of this type of Mughal architecture in India. Qutub Minar built in the year 1206 by Qutub-ud-din Aibek. It is the tallest (72m) brick minaret in the world, an important example of Indo-Islamic Architecture. Qutub Minar & its monuments are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
After breakfast, driven to Mandawa. Upon arrival transfer to the hotel. Mandawa in the heart of the semi-arid Shekhawati region. Shekhawati owes its name to Rao Shekha who ruled this area in the 14th century. The Fort of Mandawa was built in the year 1755 by Thakur Nawal Singh, the founder of the town. These were the times when Mandawa was settled & fortified by the rich & dominant Silk Route merchants of the region, who constructed many Havelis (Mansions), Chhatris (Cenotaphs), Temples & Baolis (Step-wells) with ornate frescoes adorning their walls & now aptly given the epithet - Open-Air Gallery. With the migration of these merchant families, their old settlements remained in total obscurity with no one to look after them. Mandawa still retains the charm & aura of a bygone era & coming here is like stepping into a different world.
Today we explore the Mandawa Fort, located in the very heart of Mandawa & a classic example of the famed Rajput style of architecture. It houses many beautiful paintings & frescoes that dazzle the eyes & now been converted into a heritage hotel. Gulab Rai Haveli built in the year 1870 that has some of the best murals in Shekhawati on both the exterior & interior walls with elephants & camels on its faade. Goenka Double Haveli, built in the year 1890, with monumental frescoes of elephants & horses decorating its faade. Bansidhar Newatia Haveli built in the year 1921 combines traditional frescoes of horses & elephants with those depicting a young boy using a phone plus opulent touring cars & the Wright Brothers' plane. If time permits we may visit more Havelis of the region & observe the colourful village life in Rajasthan.
Later we drive to the princely state of Bikaner, founded by Rao Bikaji (1465-1504 AD) in the year 1488 AD. He was a Rajput prince, descendent of the founder of neighbouring Jodhpur. It lies in the north-western part of Rajasthan & has a stark beauty of the desert landscape with wide-spread sand dunes & thorny shrubs growing around. It is a royal city surrounded by a mammoth fortification wall, more than 5 km in circumference & about 5 to 9m high. Fort, Palaces & people with colourful traditional costumes are the chief attractions of the city. The Camel Breeding Farm in Bikaner is only one of its kinds in the whole Asia & so is the illustrious Camel Festival.
After breakfast, half day sightseeing of Bikaner visiting Junagarh Fort, built in the year 1593 AD by Raja Rai Singh (1571-1612 AD), the 6th ruler of Bikaner. The Fort is a formidable structure & largely remained unconquered during its eventful history. It houses number of beautiful Palaces, Temples & Pavilions, which are richly decorated The beautifully maintained rooms of Anup Mahal now display the treasures of the Royal family. The Fort Museum has an extensive collection of illuminated manuscripts, jewellery, jars, carpets, weapons, treaties, decorations & Farmans (Kings).
Later, straight driven to Jaisalmer. On arrival transfer to the hotel. Jaisalmer, founded in the year 1156 by Bhatti Rajput ruler Rawal Jaisal. Often described as Golden City & rising from the heart of the Thar Desert like a golden mirage the commanding Fort etched in yellow sandstone, dominates the amber-hued city with its entire awesome splendour. Because of its strategic location it was an important ancient trading centre & camel caravans laden with precious spices & silk crossed the territory en-route India, Sindh, Arabia & Europe. The merchants of the 19th century built Havelis (Mansions) that are exquisitely carved from golden-yellow sandstone & are still in a beautiful condition. The life within the Fortified town conjures up images of medieval majesty visible in its narrow lanes strewn with magnificent palace, havelis, temples, & of course skilled artisans & ubiquitous camels.
After breakfast, proceed for sightseeing of Jaisalmer, visiting Jaisalmer Fort, built in the year 1156 by Rawal Jaisal. Perched on 80m high hill, housing the entire township within its ramparts, the golden hued Fort is standing like a sentinel in the bleak desert landscape. It is the only Living Fort in India & within its ramparts has an enchanting cow-web of narrow lanes dotted with some lovely Havelis (Mansions), Palaces & beautifully sculptured Jain Temples of the 12th -15th century AD & of course skilled artisans & ubiquitous camels. We also visit magnificent Patwon Ki Haveli in the heart of the town. It was built by the rich merchant Guman Chand Patwa & his sons, whose business stretched between Afghanistan & China. It is the most elaborate & magnificent of all the Jaisalmer Havelis & is virtually the showpiece of Jaisalmer's legendary architectural wealth. The carving on stone far surpasses in beauty the work on brocade & gold. Later we drive down 40 km away from Jaisalmer to Sam to take the Camel ride on the Sand Dunes of Sam while the sun is setting down.
After breakfast, driven to jodhpur. Upon arrival transfer to the hotel. Jodhpur, bustling desert city is the second largest city in Rajasthan & has landscape dominated by the massive Mehrangarh Fort topping a sheer rocky ridge. Rao Jodha, a chief of the Rathore clan, founded the city in the year 1459 & it is named after him. It was formerly the seat of a Princely state, also known as Marwar.
After breakfast proceed for a guided tour of Jodhpur, visiting the Mehrangarh Fort (Majestic Fort), one of the most impressive & formidable structures anywhere in India. Built by Rao Jodha, this 5km long Fort is on a 125m high hill & has some magnificent palaces with marvellously carved panels latticed window. The Fort Museum houses an exquisite collection of palanquins, howdahs (Elephant saddles), royal cradles, miniatures paintings, musical instruments, costumes & furniture. We also visit Jaswant Thada, a cluster of royal cenotaphs in white marble built in the year 1899 AD in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. Within the main cenotaph are the portraits of various Jodhpur rulers. It is an architectural landmark of Jodhpur.
Later, an Excursion to Guda Bishnoi Village: Today in the afternoon we will discover a world of tribal color & rustic cultural grandeur on your tour to the Guda Bishnoi Village located at a distance of 25-kilometers from the main Jodhpur city in open air jeeps. Visit various traditional villages, look at local handicrafts viz., shoe makers, pottery, hand weaving. Bishnois are an integral part of this region, a very hard working & hospitable tribal community. If you are lucky enough you can see village folk in their rustic & traditional attire, women clad in their ancestral silver jewelry. Guda Bishnoi is a wonderland where wild animals walk past village huts; where villagers prefer to sleep without food so that animals are fed & are ready to die to save the trees & nature. Bishnoi tribals lead pure vegetarian & clean life according to tenets preached by religious guru, Jambaji. Tribal of Guda Bishnoi village worship nature in all its forms, they pray to green trees & animals that inhabit their land & thus make every effort to conserve environment. A noticeable fact about Bishnois is that they pray to Hindu deity Lord Vishnu & bury their dead like Muslims.
After breakfast, After tour, we will drive to Udaipur, enroute visiting Ranakpur, located in the mountain ranges of Pali. We visit the famous Jain Temples were built during the reign of the liberal & gifted monarch Rana Kumbha in the 15th century. An enormous basement covers 48,000 sq. feet area. There are four subsidiary shrines, 24 pillared halls & eligibly domes supported by over four hundred columns. The artistically carved nymphs playing the flute in various dance postures at a height of 45 feet are an engrossing sight. In the assembly hall, there are two big bells weighing 108 kg whose sound echoes in the entire complex
Resuming drive, arrive Udaipur. On arrival, check-in hotel. Udaipur, founded in the year 1568 by Maharana Udai Singh after his final unsuccessful attempt to defend the Mewar capital, Chittorgarh from the invading Mughals under Emperor Akbar. The Kingdom of Mewar was considered the most respectable among all Princely states in Rajasthan & still remembered for the courage to protect the Kingdom. The site for Udaipur was chosen for its natural beauty, abundant water & natural protection afforded by the surrounding forests & Aravali mountains. It is set on the edge of three lakes & also known as the "City of Lakes & Palaces". Undoubtedly one of the most romantic cities in India, its beautiful Palaces are mirrored in the calm waters of Lake Pichola & the city is a brilliant kaleidoscope of narrow lanes flanked by bright stalls, gardens, lakes, palaces & temples.
Today we visit the City Palace, an intriguing collection of buildings contributed by various Maharanas (Kings) after Udai Singh & built in the year 1725. The magnificence of the Palace starts right from its entrance at the northern Tripolia Gate that brings us to the central courtyard, the best place to view the facade of filigreed balconies & ornate cupola-topped towers. Sahelion ki Bari (Garden of Maids of Honour) is an ornamental garden built by Maharana Sangram Singh for his daughter & the Ladies of the Queen's court. He built the garden with several fountains, pools & is decorated with chiselled pavilions & elephants. The fountains worked on the unique hydraulic technique devised in the year 1700 AD & work till today.
Later we visit Jagdish Temple, the Indo-Aryan temple, built in the year 1651 AD by Maharana Jagat Singh, is the largest & the most beautiful temple of Udaipur with noteworthy sculpted images. We also enjoy Shared boat ride on Lake Pichola, the beauty of the lake is enhanced by the surrounding hills, palaces, temples, bathing ghats & embankments. The Jag Niwas (Lake Palace) & Jag Mandir, the two island palaces on the lake look like pearls in the lake.
Optional Tour - Sound & Light show at City Palace with Vintage car show.
Today morning we will drive to Pushkar, enroute visiting Chittorgarh Fort (Battlefields of battles between the Ranas of Chittor & Alauddin Khilji, Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat & Emperor Akbar). It is a massive structure with zigzag accent to it. The road leads through seven gates to the main gate Rampol (Gate of Ram). The main gate of the fort itself is Surajpol (Sun Gate). Within the fort a circular runs around the ruins of the fort.
According to often told legend the construction of the fort was started by Bhim a Pandava hero of mythological epic Mahabharata. The fort has many magnificent monuments. Even though the fort is ruin but it is an overwhelming reminder of past history & its walls resonate with unbelievable legend of extra ordinary men & women & their equally astounding deeds.During the sightseing we will also visit Rana Kumbha Palace, Victory Tower, Palace of Rani Padmini, Tower of Fame & Palace of Patta & Jaimal.
Resuming drive, arrive Pushkar. Upon arrival, check-in hotel.
Pushkar, the sacred city. An enchanting small town located exactly on the edge of the desert but is separated from it by Nag Pahar, the Snake Mountain. The town frequently visited by devotees lies to the side of the small Pushkar Lake with its multitudes of bathing ghats & temples. It also holds the most unique fairs of its kind in the world. It is a combination of an animal fair & the religious fair. Both the fairs are enchanting & have their own unique aspects & quality. As per the Indian calendar the fair is held in the first lunar cyclein the month of Kartik culminating on the Karthik Poornima (Full moon).
Morning visit the sacred Pushkar Lake, followed by beautiful Bramha temple, which is the only temple in the country dedicated to Lord Bramha.
Afterwards we will visit the famous Dargah of Hazrat Khwaja Muin-ud-din Chisti, Situated at the foot of a hill and in the old part of Ajmer, this is one of the most important places in india for muslim pilgrims. The Dargah is the tomb of a Suffi saint, Khwaja Muin-ud-din Chishti, who came to Ajmer from Persia in 1192 and died here in 1236. Construction of this shrine was completed by Humayun and the gate was added by the Nizam of Hyderabad. Akhbar used to make the pilgrimage to the Dargah from Agra once a year.
After sight seeing, we will drive to Jaipur, popularly known as Pink City, the flamboyant & colourful capital of Rajasthan. With its rich & colourful past, resplendent with tales of valour & bravery, it is now one of the most important heritage cities in India. The city was founded in 1728 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber. It remains the only city in the world symbolizing the nine divisions of the universe, through nine rectangular sectors.
Morning, we take an excursion to Amber Fort, the palace complex which stands to this date was commenced under the reign of Raja Man Singh. We take an Elephant ride to reach the Fort situated on the hill, an overwhelming experience.
Later we visit the City Palace, a perfect blend of Rajasthani & Mughal architecture. The center of the palace is a seven-storied building called Chandra Palace, with fine views over the gardens & the city. Further we visit Jantar Mantar, the Solar Observatory, an astronomical treasure house, with solar devices that give accurate predictions till date. We now visit Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), a five-storied structure of pink sandstone. It was built in year 1799 so that veiled royal women could peer down unseen by the world through its 593 stone Jharokas (mini windows).
Later, in the evening we take you for a Traditional Rajasthani Dinner with Folk music at Chokhi Dhani
After breakfast,driven to Ranthambhore. Upon arrival transfer to the hotel. Ranthambore National Park, bounded to the north by Banas River & to the Chambal River in the south. It is named after historic Ranthambore fortress, which lies within the park. The Park was established as Sawai Madhopur Game Sanctuary in the year 1955 by the Indian Government & was declared as Project Tiger reserves in the year 1973. It became National Park in the year 1980 & later in the year 1991 the tiger reserve was enlarged to include Sawai Man Singh & Keladevi sanctuaries, total area 1334 km.
It is famous for its tiger population & is one of India's Project Tiger reserves. Other Major wild animals found in the national park include the tiger, leopard, nilgai, dhole, wild pig, sambar, chital & the gaur. It is also home to wide variety of trees, plants, birds & reptiles.
Evening at leisure.
Overnight Hotel Ranthambhore (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 16 : Ranthambhore Agra Via Fatehpur Sikri (265 kms. - Approx 5 hrs.)
Today morning we will check-out and drive to Agra, en route we will visit Fatehpur Sikri (Ghost Capital), the political capital of India's Mughal Empire under Akbar's reign, from 1571 until 1585, when it was abandoned, ostensibly due to lack of water.
Further we continue our drive to Agra. Upon arrival transfer to the hotel. Agra, beautifully situated on the banks of river Yamuna. It achieved prominence as the capital of the Mughal Emperors from 1526 to 1628, remains major tourist destination because of its many splendid Mughal-era monuments, most notably the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort & Fatehpur Sikri, all three of which are UNESCO World Heritage site.
Further we visit Agra Fort, taken over from the Lodhis by the Mughal Emperor Akbar in the late 16th century. The Fort can be more accurately described as a walled palatial city. It was built from red sandstone, often inlaid with white marble & intricate decorations. We will also visit Sikandara, Akbar's tomb. His son Jahangir completed the construction of the tomb in the year 1613.
Day 17 Agra Jhansi (Shatabdi Express Dep. at 1000-1300 hrs.)
Jhansi - Orchha
visit the Taj Mahal at dawn (Closed on Friday) which was build in the 17th century by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan as an memorial to his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, it took 22 years and 20,000 men to build it; the white marble transported to the site by elephants from a quarry 200 miles away.The perfect proportions of the Taj Mahal and the delicate inlay marble work are amazing.
Morning post breakfast on time transfer to railway station to board the train for Jhansi. Upon arrival assistance & drive to Orchha has a medieval town atmosphere attached to it. The Betwa River quietly flows by the town. The 16th century palaces and temples built by its Bundela rulers appear to be suspended in time. Upon arrival assistance and check-in hotel.
Later, visit Orchha Fort, Jahangir Mahal, Raj Mahal and Ram Raja temple.
After Breakfast,driven to Khajuraho, well known for its magnificent temples which are among the most creative examples of the Indian architecture. Built between 950 and 1050 A.D, only 22 temples out of 85 now survive. Khajuraho sculpture is sublime and sensuous, the centre of new imagery in art. The popular theme is woman: reflective, playful amorous. The carving also depict Griffins, Nymphs, Beasts, Demons in revolt, Gods in cosmic evolution, fear, doubt, jealousy, ardent love and consummate passion. Upon arrival assistance and check-in hotel.
Today we will take you for a sightseeing trip to Khajuraho temples, built by the mighty warrior kings of the Chandela dynasty, in a truly inspired burst of creativity. The temples are famous for the magnificent carvings depicting numerous sexual postures of the famous Kamasutra, ancient Indian work on sex. Only 22 temples survive of the 85 originally built. In fact, worship is still done today in the Matangeshwara temple, continuing an unbroken 1000 year tradition.
Later we drive to reach on time to the airport to board the flight to Varanasi, the oldest and the holiest Hindu city, known for its Hindu traditional customs and rituals. We meet and assist you on arrival at Varanasi airport and help you check-in at our hotel.
Today we start our day with a boat ride on the river Ganges. Rise before dawn & step gingerly in the boat as the boatman starts rowing the boat. Witness the daily miracle to unfold, as the Sun appears triumphantly over the horizon. The sound of conches & temple bells add to the delicate pink fabric of dawn. The formerly hushed murmuring of ancient Sanskrit Shlokas (hymns) now rise, in one voice, to a crescendo of unparalleled piety & joy. Later we explore the city by foot to get the feel of this Oldest living city of the world.
Later today we take an excursion to Sarnath, the site of the deer park where Gautama Buddha is said to have given his first sermon about the basic principles of Buddhism. It has been a premier centre for Buddhism & has a rich collection of ancient Buddhist relics & antiques comprising numerous Buddha & Bodhisattva images on display at the Archaeological Museum.