You arrive in Delhi by International flight. After traditional 'Swagat' (Welcome) our representative would assist you at the airport & to our hotel for check-in. After breakfast we will go on a guided tour of Delhi at 1000 hrs, beginning with morning sightseeing trip to Gandhi Memorial at Raj Ghat followed by drive around India Gate & President's House. Afternoon visits to Humayun's Tomb, Lotus Temple (Closed on Monday) & Qutub Minar.
Day - 3 - Puri - Excursion to Bhubaneswar (50 km-2 hrs)
Morning post breakfast we will leave for an excursion to Bhubaneswar, it has some stunning temples clustered around Bindusagar Tank. Of the original 7000 only 500 remain dating from 7th - 11th century. Of these the most outstanding is the 11th century Lingaraja Temple which represents the peak of Orissa art & late 10th century, beautifully decorated Muktesvara temple which belongs to end phase of temple building. Close to Mukteswara Temple is Parsurameswara Temple, a small but richly decorated shrine of Shiva that was built in 7th century. Its one of the best preserved. It has sculptures featuring amorous couples, animals & floral motifs. Overnight Hotel- Puri (Breakfast)
Morning post breakfast we drive for full Day excursion to Konark (Sun Temple), visit the Temple Chariot of The Sun God, built by King Langula Narasimha Deva in the 13th century A.D. in the golden era of Orissan art. This crowning piece of Orissan architecture & sculpture is sheer poetry in stone. Everyday the Sun rises from the lap of the blue ocean close by & casts its first gentle rays on the sanctum & then circles the temple during the course of the Day, illuminating the three magnificent images of the morning Sun, the mid-Day sun & the setting sun.
Day 5 - Puri - Excursion to Dhauli & Pipli villages
Morning post breakfast, we will be visiting Dhauli & Pipli villages. Dhauli is where Mauryan Emperor Ashoka the Great, renounced bloody warfare & embraced teachings of Buddha after victory over kingdom of Kalinga. We visit the Peace Pagoda known as Shanti Stupa built in early 1970 by Japanese. We also stop at two ancient rock edicts, today eclipsed by presence of the Pagoda. Dating from 260 BC they outline Ashoka's detailed instructions to his administrators to rule with gentleness & fairness. Sculpted elephant atop edict signifies Mauryan Emperor Ashoka's conversion to Buddhism after his Kalinga victory. Our next stop is colorful village of Pipli where we can see Orissan Handicrafts, specialty is appliqu work. Overnight Hotel- Puri (Breakfast).
February Attraction : Performance of the Annual Dance Festival which is held by the stunning ruins of the Sun Temple. Renowned exponents of Indian classical dance forms participate at this festival. Return to Puri for overnight.
Day 6 - Puri - Raghurajapur - Puri (15 km - 30 mins one way)
Morning post breakfast we leave for an excursion to Raghurajapur village. Puri is a popular beach resort & one of the four holy abodes in India. Pre-Dravidian & pre-Aryan history relates that a tooth of Buddha was temporarily enshrined in Puri before being moved to Sri Lanka. Extraordinary form Jagannath takes in this famous temple is said to be unfinished work of craftsman God, Vishwakarma. This 12th century temple is known for its Annual Rath Yatra or Car Festival.
The artisan village Raghurajpur near Puri which specializes in Pattrachitra an art using vivid colours painted on palm leaves. You will also see ancient art of palm leaf etching which, in the 16th century, was used to illustrate manuscripts. It was this technique which helped shape the Oriya script to its present rounded form. Overnight Hotel- Puri (B)
Morning post breakfast we will be visiting Chilika Lake, famous for bird sanctuary. The drive to Chilika Lake takes us through scenic countryside & attractive villages. Chilika lies in the heart of coastal Orissa. The pear-shaped lake, spread over 1,100 sq km, is Asia's largest inland salt-water lagoon. Its dotted with small islands & has an impressive array of bird life, both native & migrant. White bellied sea eagles, greylag geese, purple moorhen, jacana, herons & flamingos are among many species which make lake a bird watcher's delight. Chilika, in fact, is home to one of the world's largest breeding colonies of flamingos. Other than birds, Chilika's shores are home to blackbuck, spotted deer, golden jackals & hyenas, the lake is rich in aquatic life its waters harbor around 160 species of fish, crustaceans & other marine creatures, including the famous Chilika dolphin. Prawn, crab & mackerel fishing are an important source of livelihood for the local people, & hundreds of small fishing boats set sail each morning to bring in the Day's catch from the lake. Overnight Hotel- Puri (Breakfast)
Puri is one of the four most important pilgrimage centre for Hindus. Today in the morning we visit the Jagannath temple of Puri. The temple of Lord Jagannath (God Vishnu), who is considered the preserver of the world in Hinduism, attracts thousands on feast every Day, particularly at the time of 'Rath Yatra' (the car festival). The Jagannath temple is also referred as the white Pagoda & it accommodates 5000 priests in its premises. It's an experience to observe the activities of the pilgrims visiting this unique temple. It is one of the most sacred temples in India. In the afternoon we visit the Puri beach. The Puri Beach is also known as one of India's finest beaches. Puri Beach attracts millions of travellers to India with its strategic setting & religious importance. Overnight Hotel- Puri (B)