Timed with Diwali (Festival Of Lights), this 16-days exciting journey includes visits to Amritsar, Udaipur, Ranakpur, Pushkar, Jaipur, Agra and Delhi. Proud Langley residents and supporters of the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation (LMHF), Bob & Nimi Sangha have joined hands with Bestway Tours & Safaris to put together this tour and simultaneously raise funds for the LMHF. A portion of the tour cost will be donated to purchase the critically needed life-saving equipment at the Langley Memorial Hospital. Each participant will get a charity tax receipt of $ 500.00 from the LMHF. Serving a rapidly growing region, the LMHF provides a wide range of integrated services that meets the demanding and complex healthcare needs of the residents. Foundation donors provide crucial funding for the purchase of state-of-the-art medical equipment, clinical education advancement and special projects.
|UNESCO World Heritage Sites covered in this tour|
|1.||Agra Fort, India||2.||Qutb Minar and its Monuments, Delhi|
|3.||Amber Fort- Jaipur||4.||Red Fort Complex|
|5.||Fatehpur Sikri||6.||Taj Mahal, Agra|
|7.||Humayun's Tomb, Delhi||8.||The Jantar Mantar, Jaipur|
|Includes international air|
Day 01: Oct 19, 2016: Depart Vancouver for India
Day 02: Oct 20, 2016: In transit
Day 03: Oct 21, 2016: Arrive Amritsar
Namaste! At Amritsar Airport we are warmly welcomed the traditional Indian way with hands clapped together, garlanded and then transferred to our hotel. Late afternoon we take an interesting excursion to the Wagah border to witness the “Change of Guard” ceremony. Here Indian and Pakistani soldiers march to enthusiastic crowds as the flags are lowered with great skill and precision. Leading media outlets like the BBC has filmed this event. Welcome dinner at the Surjeet, recommended also by the Lonely Planet. Surjeet started as a cart fish shop at the local railway station. Today it is a fine dinning restaurant – a favourite amongst Bollywood stars… and who knows we may just meet one.
Overnight: Hyatt Amritsar (2 nights) (B, D)
Day 04: Oct 22, 2016: Amritsar
An optional early morning visit of the Golden Temple to witness the Holy Book being carried, with reverence, to the main shrine in a gilded palanquin followed by ardas sung and prayers. An interesting ritual worth witnessing. After breakfast, we start with a more in-depth tour of the Golden Temple, the holiest religious shrine of Sikh religion. Characterized by its four entrance doors and a tastefully decorated shrine, the Golden Temple welcomes everyone regardless of religion or faith. Subject to availability, we have requested for a private audience with the chief priest. We also visit the community kitchen where free food is served all day and night to thousands of pilgrims and visitors – all on a volunteer basis. Next we visit the Jallianwalah Bagh, a historical monument that immortalizes the April 13, 1919 massacre of innocent women and children by the British Army. Enjoy a street cuisine experience near the Temple. The walled city around the Golden Temple, the oldest part of Amritsar, is a heaven for food lovers! Afternoon, our hosts Bob & Nimi Sangha help us explore the local markets and shop for popular hand embroidered PHULKARI items getting a good introduction to India’s art of bargaining. (B, L)
Day 05: Oct 23, 2016: Amritsar/Delhi (Shatabdi Train)
India’s rural is a whole different world and we witness this as we take the early morning deluxe train across the agricultural fertile lands of the Punjab. This 6 hours daytime train ride allows us to see a whole different facet of India. At Delhi we are met and transferred to our hotel. After some rest time we start with a tour of New Delhi and visit the mighty Qutub Minar (Victory Tower) – a UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS). Built in 1193 it still is the tallest brick minaret in the world. Our next stop is the lotus shaped Bahai Temple. Evening we are treated to a Sound & Light show at the Red Fort depicting the colorful history of New Delhi choreographed with sound and light with a running commentary in English.
Overnight: Sheraton New Delhi (02 Nights) (B)
Day 06: Oct 24, 2016: Delhi
A colorful day ahead as we start with a visit to Humayun's Tomb. Built in 1570, it is the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent. The tomb and the Persian Gardens are a part of the UNESCO (WHS) and were recently reopened after a complete restoration by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture. Next we visit the famous India Gate followed by a photo stop at the Presidential Palace & Parliament House. We drive by Janpath city centre always busy with teacarts that serve mouth-watering snacks to thousands of office workers daily. Light lunch is followed by a tour of Old Delhi. We visit the Raj Ghat – the cremation garden of Mahatma Gandhi who freed India from 200 hundred years of British rule without firing a bullet. Another photo stop at the massive Red Fort (WHS) - the epicenter of the Mughal court and parliament. Later in the day we embark on a captivating journey on a Rickshaw passing through the narrow lanes of the famous 17th Century Chandni Chowk Bazaar and Old Delhi's busiest markets. Old Delhi will tantalize us with delights such as the Parathewali Gali -a whole street lined with shops specializing only in Parathas, special flat bread stuffed with all kinds of vegetables, cheeses, spices and everything else the chefs fancy! We are then treated to an Indian dinner at the famous Moti Mahal restaurant. (B, L, D)
Day 07: Oct 25, 2016: Delhi/Udaipur (flight)
After breakfast we take a short flight to Udaipur – the romantic city. We start with a visit to some of the historic sites of Udaipur starting with the City Palace overlooking the blue waters of Lake Pichhola. The 1559 built palace consists of a number of beautiful courtyards and gardens. We walk towards the Jagdish Temple to study its many remarkable friezes. Lavishly built in 1651, it is easy to understand why Jagdish is the most venerated Hindu temple in Udaipur. We explore the Old City, wandering through its bustling streets lined with art shops, spice vendors, tailors and more. Early this evening we take a sunset cruise on Lake Pichhola, sailing past picturesque Ghats and palaces. After the tour we check in at our hotel and have the evening to ourselves.
Overnight: Radisson Blu Udaipur (2 nights) (B)
Day 08: Oct 26, 2016: Udaipur
Udaipur, to many is the most picturesque city in India. We have this day free to roam around the bazaars and enjoy the city, the people, art and architecture in the company of Bob and Nimi Sangha. Evening, we enjoy an exclusive Bestway outing - A Sound & Light show. This hi-tech extravaganza takes place at the magnificent Manek Chowk in the City Palace Complex. It brings alive the rich history of the House of Mewar. The show has been created to spread awareness and pride in the history of Mewar that stretches back 1500 years. (B)
Day 09: Oct 27, 2016: Udaipur/Ranakpur/Kumbhalgarh (Drive 150 Kms)
Scenic drive to Ranakpur. Ranakpur boasts some of the most exquisite Jain temples in the country. The temples are famous for their intricate friezes and sculptures. The main Chaumukha (four faced) temple was built in 1439 and is dedicated to the first Enlightened One, Adinatha Rishabdeva. It has 1444 beautifully carved pillars, of which no two are alike. We visit Kumbhalgarh Fort: The huge Fort has numerous palaces, temples and gardens. There are no less than 360 temples inside the complex.
Overnight: The Aodhi Hotel (01 Night) (B, D)
Day 10: Oct 28, 2016: Kumbhalgar/Pushkar (Drive 250 Kms)
Another rural scenic drive to Pushkar - a prominent Hindu pilgrimage town. Devout Hindus believe that they must visit Pushkar atleast ionce a qqat least once in their lifetime. With 52 bathing ghats and 400 milky-blue temples, the town often hums with puja (prayers) generating an episodic soundtrack of chanting, drums and gongs, and devotional songs. We visit the famous Brahma Temple followed by the Pushkar Lake, which is surrounded by temples and bathing ghats. A dip in the lake is said to wash away all the sins and leads one to salvation. October/November is the time when a very colourful cattle and camel fair is held at Pushkar.
Overnight: The Green House Resort (01 Night) (B)
Day 11: Oct 29, 2016: Pushkar/Jaipur (Drive 140 kms)
After a leisurely breakfast we take a short drive to Ajmer to visit the dargah of the Sufi Saint, Moinuddin Chishty. This is certainly a world of it’s own. Time for a stroll through the town, take memorable photos of the colourful nomadic tribes gathered, buy trinkets or check out the local livestock decorating and trading venues. A short break for lunch before we depart for Jaipur. Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan – India’s most colourful state. Balance of the day is free in Jaipur, which offers very interesting bazaars and architecture. Timed with Diwali festival, Jaipur becomes even more colourful and the bazaars are full of a host of new items.
Overnight: ITC Rajputana (3 Nights)(B)
Day 12: Oct 30, 2016: Jaipur - Diwali Festival
We start with an exhilarating excursion to the Amber Fort. A royal uphill ride on elephant back will make us feel like being Maharajas of yester years. Perched on a hillside on the outskirts of town, the palace was constructed in the 1590s by Maharaja Man Singh. Built on four levels and surrounded by ruins, which served as the backdrop for the Mira Nair movie “Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love.” We return to our hotel to prepare for the afternoon Diwali celebrations. The enthusiasm with which Jaipur celebrates the Festival of Lights has to be seen and experienced! Jaipur is primarily a trader's city and on Diwali, the goddess of honor is none other than that of wealth - Laxmiji. Whatever the reason, being in Jaipur during Diwali is one of life's unforgettable moments. The time is also perfect for souvenir shopping and one can take over 2000 kinds of earthen lamps in the shape of animals, birds, and deities. We have planned an evening drive through the bazaars to enjoy the fireworks and illuminations followed by a very traditional Diwali Dinner. (B, D)
Day 13: Oct 31, 2016: Jaipur
Another exciting day in Jaipur. We start with a visit of the grand Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds). This magnificent structure was built to allow the royal ladies of the palace to discretely watch the grand processions along the main street, visit the City Palace Museum and impressive Jantar Mantar, an astronomical observatory built in the early 1700s by Maharaja Jai Sing II, the great warrior-astronomer to which this city owes its name. Afternoon is free. Jaipur markets offer the best shopping from fine jewelry to home furnishings, unique cotton garments and linens, block prints and tie and dye fabrics, puppets and pottery, so let Bob and Nimi guide you to the best shopping, their bargaining proficiency will add the extra charm! Evening we embark on an elephant trek conducted in the original Aravali forests following a route where we see villages, agricultural fields, hills and ancient monuments. The birdlife in the thick forests is thriving with an abundance of antelopes and jackals. The sunset elephant treks are magical and to end this day we have a special BBQ dinner. (B, D)
Day 14: Nov 01, 2016: Jaipur/Agra (Drive 245 Kms)
A rural scenic drive to Fatehpur Sikri the abandoned capital of the Mughal Empire. It has stunning architecture, well kept fort palace and is a UNESCO WHS. The great Moghul King Akbar built this city to celebrate the birth of his son and heir, Jahangir. While Akbar is believed to have been illiterate, he took great interest in the arts and architecture; Fatehpur Sikri is one of his masterworks. Sadly, it served as a capital for little more than a decade, eventually abandoned for lack of accessible water. After checking into our hotel at Agra and some rest we visit the Mother Theresa Orphanage. Evening is free to enjoy the city of the Taj – a small town when compared with the other cities in India and its role in the history of India. We prepare for our early morning tour of the Taj Mahal.
Overnight: ITC Mughal (2 Nights) (B)
Day 15: Nov 02, 2016: Agra
A sunrise visit of the Taj Mahal – the most photographed building in the world and rightfully a WHS set amidst landscaped gardens on the banks of the Yamuna River. The mausoleum was built in memory of Mumtaz Mahal the wife of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. We visit this majestic piece of Islamic architecture before returning to our hotel for breakfast. Late morning we set out to explore Agra Fort, the 8year work of Akbar the Great between 1565 and1573. Today a WHS it was successively occupied by Emperors Jahangir and Shah Jahan; the latter died here, imprisoned by his son, left to gaze at the Taj Mahal he had built. Later we visit some of the local factories known for keeping the art of inlaying precious and semi precious stones on marbles. Evening we treated to Mohabbat e Taj - an artistic musical dance performance by renowned stage actors from Mumbai. (B)
Day 16: Nov 03, 2016: Agra/Delhi (Drive 220 Kms)
Depart for Delhi on a leisurely drive. For our comforts before our flight back home, day rooms at a hotel near the airport have been blocked for us. Evening we enjoy our farewell dinner before being transferred to the airport for our flight back home. (B, D)
Day 17: Nov 04, 2016: Arrive Vancouver
Enjoy airline onboard services with Indian memories to share. We arrive YVR today.
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
Departure Dates & Prices
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