|Includes international air|
Day 01: Sunday: Vancouver/Guangzhou by Flight# CZ330 Departure: 13:05 hrs.
Day 02: Monday: Arrive Guangzhou at 17:20 Hrs | Guangzhou/Kathmandu by flight# CZ3067 Departure: 19:40 hrs./Arrival in Kathmandu at 22:15 hrs. (Next Day)
Arrival. Namaste! We are warmly welcomed at the airport and transferred to our hotel. Rest of the day is free to relax.
Overnight: Soaltee Crowne Plaza (3 Nights)
Day 03, Tuesday, Kathmandu
Today we visit Old Kathmandu City. Visit the temples, shrines and palaces of Durbar Square. One of the most famous temples is that of the Kumari, or the Living Goddess. This goddess is selected from the Buddhist caste at the age of 3 and once she reaches puberty another Kumari replaces her. Later we visit Swayambhunath Stupa where the all-seeing eyes of Buddha stare down on the valley. Afternoon, visit the ancient city of Patan, capital of the Malla Kings. Durbar Square contains a striking array of temples fountains, royal palaces covered with exquisite carvings and adorned with beautiful bronzes.
Day 04, Wednesday, Kathmandu
After breakfast, we visit Pashupatinath temple*, considered as one of the holiest shrines of all the Hindu temples in the whole world. The temple of lord Shiva, Pashupatinath, with a tiered golden roof and silver doors is famous for its superb architecture. Entrance to the temple precinct is forbidden to non-Hindus. They will only be able to view it from the eastern bank of Baghmati River overlooking the cremation grounds. It is not known when the temple was founded. Tradition says it was constructed by Pashupreksha of the Somadeva dynasty in the 3rd century BC, but the first historical records date from the 13th century. Next we visit Boudhanath Stupa*, the biggest Stupa in Nepal and is located on flat land and encircled by houses and monasteries, where Rinpoches reside. Bodhnath, also known as `little Tibet’ because of its unique atmosphere resembling old Barkhor marketplace in Lhasa. Visit a nearby monastery at sunset to see little novices and old monks sitting side by side chanting evening prayer. Afternoon we visit Bhaktapur Durbar Square*. Bhaktapur also known as Bhadgaon is the home of medieval art & architecture and still retains its rich medieval aroma. A city of farmers, Bhaktapur is also known for its pottery and weaving. Bhaktapur is the most charming and the best preserved of the valley’s three cities. Visit the ancient gateway, Durbar Square the Royal Residential Quarter of Bhupatindra Malla, Batsala temple, Bhairavnath temple, Duttatraya temple, Pujari Math and Palace of 55 windows. Walk to the famous Nyatapole temple, the five storied temple in pagoda style, the tallest temple in the country guarded by a series of mythical animals and deities overlooking the Bhairav temple dedicated to the tantric deity of bhairav.(B, D)
Day 05, Thursday, Kathmandu/Varanasi by flight# AI252, Departure: 14:25 hrs./Arrival: 15:05 hrs.
After breakfast, we check out from our hotel and are later transferred to airport in time for our flight to the holy city of Varanasi, one of the oldest living cities in the world. On arrival in Varanasi, transfer to our hotel. Rest of the day is free.
Overnight: The Gateway Hotel Ganges (2 Nights) (B, D)
Day 06, Friday, Varanasi
Early morning we take a sunrise cruise on the River Ganges for a most serene experience. One of the cardinal principles of Hinduism is the belief in the holiness of the Ganges. Every morning scores of pilgrims and priests fill the riverbanks bathing in the holy waters and performing various other rituals. This unique experience literally transports you to another world. Afternoon we start our exploration of old Varanasi, visiting the Bharat Mata Temple, which houses a huge marble relief map of India; the Durga Temple, the Tulsi Manas Mandir beside the Banaras Hindu University and the Mosque of Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb. The city is famous also for its silk sarees and we visit some of the houses where the beautiful silk sarees are woven. Evening we enjoy a rickshaw ride and get to see the local bazaar of Varanasi. Later we get to the banks of the Ganges to witness the devotional ceremony of Arti after sunset performed by devout Hindus. (B, D)
Day 07: Saturday, Varanasi/Khajuraho (Daily flight on Jet Airways or Air India)
Morning we explore Sarnath, the site of Lord Buddha's first sermon after attaining enlightenment. The Ancient Buddhist Site of Sarnath contains Chaukhandi Stupa, a lofty brick structure crowned with an octagonal tower and the remains of several stupas, monasteries and Ashokan column are built from the 3rd century B.C. to 12th century A.D.in brick and stone. Later we are transferred to the airport in Varanasi in time to take our flight to Khajuraho. On arrival in Khajuraho, we are transferred to our hotel. Afternoon we explore the Khajuraho Group of Monuments* the temples at Khajuraho were built during the Chandella dynasty, which reached its apogee between 950 and 1050. Today only 20 temples remain and they fall into three distinct groups and belonging to the religions of Hinduism and Jainism. They strike a perfect balance between architecture and sculpture. The Temples are decorated with a profusion of sculptures that are among the greatest masterpieces of Indian art.
Overnight: Hotel Chandela (1 Night) (B, D)
Day 08: Sunday, Khajuraho/Jhansi/Agra (Drive & Train# 12001–Shatabadi, Dep: 17:59 hrs./Arrival: 20:30 hrs.)
Morning we drive to Orchha to visit this amazing medieval fortress-city located on the shores of the Betwa River. The fort consists of several connected buildings erected at different times, the most noteworthy of which are the Raja Mahal and the Jahangir Mahal. We continue to the Railway Station in Jhansi to take our express train to Agra. Shatabdi Express trains are fully air-conditioned and travelers enjoy complimentary meals and seating comparable to business class on airlines. On arrival in Agra, we are welcomed and transferred to our hotel.
Overnight: ITC Mughal (2 Nights)(B, D)
Day 09: Monday, Agra
We start our day with a visit to one of the most well known wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal*. An immense mausoleum of white marble, built in Agra between 1631 and 1648 by order of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife, the Taj Mahal is the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage. Situated on the right bank of the Yamuna in a vast Mogul garden, this funerary monument combines elements and styles of Persian, Central Asian and Islamic architecture. We then visit Agra Fort*. This powerful fortress of red sandstone encompasses, within its 2.5-km-long enclosure walls, the imperial city of the Mughal rulers. It comprises many fairy-tale palaces, such as the Jahangir Palace and the Khas Mahal, built by Shah Jahan; audience halls, such as the Diwan-i-Khas; and two very beautiful mosques. We end our tour with a visit to some of the local factories famous for inlay work on marbles and witness the complex art inlaying precious and semiprecious stones on the world famous Marbles for the mines of Makrana. (B, D)
Please Note: Taj Mahal is closed on Friday.
Day 10: Tuesday, Agra/Fatehpur Sikri/Jaipur (Drive: 245 Km/6 hrs.)
A short drive gets us to Fatehpur Sikri, the beautiful capital built in 1640 by the Mughal King, Akbar the Great. The city was later abandoned for lack of water. A superb example of Mughal architecture, it stands perfectly preserved in the desert. We also visit the artistically designed mausoleum of Salim Chisty who is reputed to have prayed for a son for Akbar leading to the birth of Salim Jehangir. From here we continue on a countryside drive to Jaipur, the rose pink capital of Rajasthan.
Overnight: ITC Rajputana (2 Nights)(B, D)
Day 11, Wednesday, Jaipur
Morning we are treated like the royalty of yesteryear with an elephant ride to Amber Fort*, located in a valley formed by a range of Aravallis known as Kalikho hills. The Palace and Fort are located on top of the hill with the city on slopes. The construction of the fort began in 1592. It shows the evolution from the purely defensive fort settlements of the early medieval period to the palace fortress type of architecture typified in the 16th century. The fort comprises of number of gardens, courtyards and palatial spaces derived from Mughal architecture and is a distinguished example of 17th Century Rajput architecture. We return to Jaipur and experience the art of CARPET WEAVING & BLOCK PRINTING.
Later we visit the majestic City Palace, which houses a rare collection of Indian art and the beautiful Hawa Mahal, the Palace of Winds, where the ladies of the royal harem used to watch the city from behind the intricately carved facade. We also visit the Jantar Mantar*, an astronomical observation site built in the early 18th century that includes a set of some 20 main fixed instruments designed for the observation of astronomical positions with the naked eye. The evening is free to enjoy both shopping and the cultural experience in the bazaars. Jaipur is noted for its craftsmen, skilled in brass inlay, lacquer work and stone setting. (B, D)
Day 12, Thursday, Jaipur/Delhi (Drive: 260 Km/6 hrs.)
After breakfast, we drive to Delhi. On arrival in Delhi we check in our hotel. Rest of the day is free.
Overnight: Sheraton New Delhi (2 Nights) (B, D)
Day 13: Friday, Delhi
We start our morning tour with New Delhi and visit Birla House, the Former Residence of Mahatma Gandhi before Nathu Ram Godse assassinated him on January 30, 1948. Later we visit the famous India Gate followed by the Houses of Parliament, Connaught Place and Humayun's Tomb*, the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent, built in 1570. We continue to Qutb Minar and its Monuments* Built in the early 13th century the red sandstone tower of Qutb Minar is 72.5 m high. The surrounding archaeological area contains funerary buildings, notably the magnificent Alai-Darwaza Gate, a masterpiece of Indo-Muslim art and two mosques. After the tour we return back to our hotel. (B, D)
Please Note: Red Fort and Birla House are closed on Monday and Chandni Chowk is closed on Sundays
Day 14: Saturday, Delhi/Guangzhou Flight# CZ360, Departure: 23:10 hrs.
After breakfast, we visit Old Delhi, starting with the Red Fort Complex*. Named for its massive enclosing walls of red sandstone, it is adjacent to an older fort, the Salimgarh, built by Islam Shah Suri in 1546, with which it forms the Red Fort Complex. The Red Fort is considered to represent the zenith of Mughal creativity which, under the Shah Jahan, was brought to a new level of refinement and each pavilion reveals architectural elements typical of Mughal building, reflecting a fusion of Persian, Timurid and Hindu traditions. Next we enjoy a rickshaw ride through the narrow lanes of the Chandni Chowk Bazaar. This gives us tremendous photo shoot opportunities to see the Old part of Delhi. We end our rickshaw ride at the Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque. If time permits we visit the Asia's biggest spice market where we learn about different spices and its use in Indian cooking. This is one of the best places to buy spices. Afternoon, we return back to hotel. Rest of the day is free to relax. Evening we check out in time and enjoy a farewell dinner at our hotel before transferring to airport in time to connect flight back to Vancouver. (B, D)
Day 15: Sunday, Arrive Guangzhou at 06:50 Hrs | Guangzhou/Vancouver Flight# CZ329 Departure: 14:00 hrs./Arrival: 11:15 hrs.
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
Departure Dates & Prices
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