Tour Itinerary

 This tour can be tailor made to fit in with your requirements.

Delhi – Agra – Khajuraho – Varanasi – Puri – Bhubaneswar – Calcutta – Darjeeling – Gangtok – Delhi

DAY 01: ARRIVE DELHI Arrive Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport late this evening. Welcome to India.!!!

Creative Travel’s Airport Representative will meet you on arrival at the airport as soon as you come out from the main hall after you clear all formalities to customs and immigration. A special welcomes awaits here. Later transfer to the hotel by an air conditioned vehicle. Check into the hotel for your overnight stay.

DAY 02: IN DELHI Delhi stands as the capital of Modern India. Here you can see the mingling of the Old and New India, the ancient and the modern. Delhi is made up of seven ancient cities, spanning the period from the 11th to 20th centuries. Delhi has seen the rise and fall of many emperors which have left behind a plethora of monuments that commemorate the grandeur and glory of bygone ages. Very few cities in the world can express such a profusion of architectural styles. After breakfast at the hotel proceed on a full day tour of Old and New Delhi. Old Delhi was an ancient walled city. The Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan in 1650 switched the Mughal capital from Agra to Delhi. Shah Jehan possessing an exquisite talent, especially in architecture, created the seventh city and in the process brought about Delhi’s glorious renaissance. Start the day with a cycle rickshaw ride through Old Delhi. Here you will see Red Fort, the most opulent Fort and Palace of the Mughal Empire. The fort is Shah Jehan’s symbol of power and elegance, built behind red sandstone walls. Its main gate (Lahore Gate) faces Chandni Chowk, the perpetually congested avenue heading west from the Red Fort, is filled with twisting lanes, small streets and crowded bazaars. If you peer through a portico you may see a man getting shaved, silver being weighed, or any other conceivable form of intense commerce. Also visit Raj Ghat, the memorial site of the Mahatma Gandhi; Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India; and Chandni Chowk, the bustling and colourful market of the old city. Chandni Chowk was the commercial centre of Delhi in the old time and you will see it come alive in the morning as the trading day starts.

Have your lunch, (not included) at one of Delhi’s many restaurants.

New Delhi was designed and built by the British in the 1920’s-it’s a city of wide boulevards impressive Government buildings, green parks and gardens. In 1911 King George V announced the transfer of the capital from Calcutta to Delhi. The King’s architects, Lutyens and Baker, set in motion the Design and construction of Delhi’s eighth city – New Delhi. Lutyens designed an “Imperial City” having palatial-sized buildings set amid broad tree-lined avenues punctuated by Mughal style gardens, complete with fountains and shallow pools. It took 20 years to complete this immense undertaking only to have the British pack up and relinquish the subcontinent in 1947. You will visit two monuments from Delhi’s past – Humayun’s Tomb and Qutub Minar. Your drive takes you along the ceremonial avenue, Rajghat, past the imposing India Gate and Parliament House. Return to the Hotel. DAY 03: DELHI- AGRA (train) After an early tea/coffee in time transfer to rail terminal for the Shatabadi Express to Agra departs at 0600 hrs. Breakfast will be served on board at no extra cost. Arrive Agra at 0810 hrs and go straightaway to visit Fatehpur Sikri.

Fatehpur Sikri – the deserted red sand stone city that was built by Emperor Akbar as his capital. Ponder the mysterious desertion of this capital city that was dramatically abandoned a few years after it was built. It was a veritable fairy tale city and its ‘ruins’ are still in a pristine condition. It is not hard to imagine what the court life must have been like in the days of its grandeur.

After visiting Fatehpur Sikri return to Agra and check into the hotel. Later proceed for a half day city tour of Agra visiting Taj Mahal and Agra fort. Agra – In the 16th and 17th centuries, Agra was the capital of the grand Mughal Empire. During this period the city became a leading centre of art, science, commerce and culture. Akbar the Great made Agra great. The city’s origins are dim but Akbar’s grandfather Babur is credited with Agra’s founding. The short golden age of Agra came to an end with the seventeenth century reign of Shah Jehan, mastermind of the unforgettable Taj Mahal. This afternoon visit that magnificent monument to love – The Taj Mahal, built by an emperor in memory of his beloved queen. Construction of the Taj Mahal began in 1631, and is believed to have taken 18 years to complete, with over 20,000 craftsmen working around the clock. The design and construction is said to be that of the legendary architect, Ustad Ahamad Lahori. Legend has it that once construction was completed, Shah Jehan had Lahori blinded and his hands cut off, so he would never be able to duplicate the structure. What makes the Taj Mahal unique is its perfect proportions, distinct femininity, medium of construction and ornamentation. Its marble exterior reflects rose and golden tints at sunrise and sunset, while it is dazzling white during the day. It is impossible to visualize the Taj Mahal in any surrounding others than its paradoxical garden.

Paradise, in Islam, is visualized as a lush garden where running streams flow. When the Mughals brought this concept to India they elevated it to heights of incomparable artistry.

Later visit the Agra Fort and the city. At the impressive Agra Fort you are taken through the chambers of this royal residence. As you drive through the city, witness the local life and bazaars and the hustle bustle of everyday India.

DAY 04: AGRA – Jhansi – Orcha – KHAJURAHO (Train & Drive) After breakfast at the hotel leave in time to transfer to the railway station to board the train for Jhansi @ 0810 hrs. On arrival at Jhansi railway station at 1040 hrs met and drive to Khajuraho (approx. 4- 5 hrs drive). En route to Khajuraho stop to visit Orcha. Orcha – Orcha’s grandeur has been captured in stone frozen in time and a rich legacy to the ages for this medieval city the hand of time has rested lightly and the Palaces and Temples built by its Bundela rulers in the 16th and 17th century retains much of their pristine perfection. Jehangir Mahal a tiered Palace crowned by graceful Chhatries has a spectacular view of Soaring Temple spires and cenotaphs. Afterwards continue the drive to Khajuraho. On arrival check into the hotel for your overnight stay. Evening is free for independent activities.

DAY 05: KHAJURAHO – VARANASI (fly) After breakfast at the hotel proceed to visit Khajuraho’s Erotic Temples this morning. Your half-day tour visits the world famous Khajuraho Temples built by the Chandela kings between 950 AD and 1050 AD the most important are the Chaunset Rogini Temple dedicated to Goddess Kali. The Mahadev Temple, Chitragupta or Bharatji Temple with a lovely image of 11 headed Vishnu, Vishvanath and Nandi Temples, Lakshmana Temple, Vishva Temple dedicated to Shiva which is the largest and most typical of Temples. Khajuraho was founded in the 9th and 10th century by the rulers of Chandela Dynasty. They were deeply influenced by Tantrism, in which eroticism becomes a theme of philosophical interest and the aim is sublimation of sexual relationship in the sexual act or “MAITHUN”, women being regarded as the incarnation of the divine energy or “SHAKTI”. It is also possible that the carvings of Khajuraho were influenced by “KAMA SUTRA”, the famous treatise on erotic arts written by Vatsyayana in the time of the Guptas. Early in the afternoon in time transfer to the airport to board flight for Varanasi departs at 1330 hrs. Meeting and assistance on arrival in Varanasi at 1410 hrs and transfer to the hotel for check in. Varanasi is the religious centre of Hindu religion. Situated on the banks of the holy river Ganges, Varanasi is considered to be among the oldest living cities of the world and has been a centre of learning and civilization for centuries. Varanasi holds special significance in the lives of the Indian people. Every year hundreds of thousands of pilgrims make a long journey to this vibrant city where you can find the richest of the rich living side by side with the poorest of the poor. Travel to Varanasi with an open mind and see what faith can do to people and what their devotion to god leads them to achieve. Look beyond the poverty into the eyes of the people and you will see a sense of enlightenment and peace that their belief in a god has given them. Varanasi is a unique city that vibrates with cosmic forces beyond comprehension.

Return to the hotel before proceeding for a half day excursion to visit Sarnath. Sarnath 10 Kms. from the centre of the city, Sarnath symbolises the birth of Buddhism. It was here that Buddha revealed his doctrine and founded his monastic community. The museum at Sarnath is amongst the most important in India and contains carvings representing a whole range of styles – archaic, the Mathura School, Gupta, past Gupta and Medieval – covering work of sculptors from the 3rd century B.C. to the 12th century A.D. Return to the hotel for overnight stay

DAY 06: VARANASI – BHUBANESWAR (Train) Early this morning leave your hotel around 0530 for an early morning sunrise boat excursion on the holy River Ganges. See Varanasi come alive along the banks of the river. See people bathing in the holy water and worshipping the rising sun. Witness the conclusion of life at the riverbank holy cremation grounds. It is believed if you die in Varanasi you go straight to heaven. Varanasi will be one of the most extraordinary experiences of your visit to India. After the boat ride, return to the hotel for breakfast. After breakfast the morning is free. Check out at 1200 noon. Leave your luggage at the hotel while you proceed for a half day tour of Varanasi city. Return to the hotel this evening to collect your luggage in time to transfer to the railway station to board overnight train to Bhubaneswar departs at 2025 hrs. Overnight on Board.

(Note: There is no flight operating on Varanasi – Bhubaneswar sector hence given Overnight Train on this sector)

DAY 07: ARRIVE BHUBANESHWAR – PURI (approx. 2 hr drive) Arrive Bhubaneswar railway station this afternoon at 1520 hrs and transfer straight to Puri. On arrival in Puri, check into the hotel. Rest of the day is free to relax on the beach. Overnight, stay at the hotel.

DAY 08: IN PURI Full day free to relax on the beach. Overnight, stay at the hotel. (No transport will be provided on this day unless requested.)

DAY 09: PURI- KONARAK- BHUBANESWAR (approx. 2 hr drive) After breakfast at the hotel drive to Bhubaneswar and visit Konark Sun Temple en route. Konark Sun Temple The Sun Temple at Konark with its fantastic loneliness on the wind swept sand dues of the Bay of Bengal fringed with palm and casuarina plantations is a breadth taking monument. Fashioned in the form of a chariot, drawn by seven spirited horses, the temple is profusely sculptured with exquisite figures and figurines fired by an astonishing energy trapped on stone. It is a stunning master piece of the 13th century Kalingan style of art and is one of the unrivalled technical marvels that the age has produced. The drive from Bhubaneswar to Konark is 1 hr 45 minutes maximum en route visit Pipli village famous for appliqué cloth work. Later continue the drive to Bhubaneswar and upon arrival check into the hotel. Evening is free to relax in the hotel. Overnight, stay at the hotel.

DAY 10: BHUBANESWAR Bhubaneswar is the capital city of the modern state of Orissa and the ancient kingdom of Kalinga. Bhubaneswar is known as the Temple City of India. Among the finest of its 600 temples is the Lingaraj Temple of Shiva built in the 11th century, it is also the biggest in Bhubaneswar. Visit the Mukteswara temple built in the 10th century and known for its stone and arch at the entrance and is richly sculpted. With the tales from the Panchatantra carved on it, the temple is a magnificent example of Orissan architecture. The Rajarani temple set in picturesque surrounding is noted for its intricate carvings of floral, animal and human figures. It is built in the 11th century and has no deity. Parasurameswara temple a small but richly decorated shrine of Shiva built in the 7th century. It is one of the best preserved temples. It has sculptures featuring amorous couples, animals and floral motifs. After breakfast at the hotel proceed for a half day tour of Bhubaneswar city visiting. Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves –The double storied Rani Gumpha -Queen’s cave is the largest cave with ornate carvings. The Hati Gumpa – Elephant Cave has the chronicle of King Kharavela carved on it. This afternoon is free to explore the market on your own. Overnight, stay at the hotel.

DAY 11: BHUBANESWAR – Kolkata (Calcutta) (fly) Breakfast at the Hotel. The morning is free. Afternoon in time transfer to the airport to board flight for Kolkata departs at 13000 hrs. Meeting and assistance upon arrival in Kolkata airport at 1355 hrs and transfer to the hotel for check in. Rest of the evening is free to explore Kolkata on your own. Overnight, stay at the Hotel.

DAY 12: Kolkata (Calcutta) – NEW JALPAIGURI Kolkata is not an old city. Just 300 years ago the vigorous giant was a tiny insignificant village known as Kalikata. In 1690, Job Charnock, chief of the East India Company’s factory in Hooghly, looking for a new factory sites,

selected and leased the three tiny villages of Sutanati, Govindpuri and Kalikata from Emperor Aurangzeb. Six years later the company built the first Fort William and later, in 1773, rebuilt it in its present form. Howrah Station, almost a city in itself, can serve as an excellent introduction to the city proper; located on the west bank of the Hooghly River, the station houses an enormous establishment with a seemingly permanent population living on the platforms. The city which belongs to Shri Rabindra Nath Tagore, Noble Prize Winner, for his contribution to literature; Satya Jit Ray – world famous producer and director of classical films and Mother Teresa – Noble Prize Winner for her Charity Work and devotion for supporting the poor and orphans at the “Mission of Charity” in Calcutta and elsewhere. After breakfast at the hotel leave for a half day city tour of Kolkata. The sightseeing tour includes, a visit to Victoria Memorial, opened to the public in 1921, this huge marble museum is a combination of classical European architecture and; Mughal motifs. A good number of paintings by British artists of repute like, Thomas, William Daniell and Zoffany are housed here. The Indian Museum, founded in 1814 on the basis of the collection of the Asiatic Society, is one of the largest and most impressive museums in India. It has superb collection of stuffed (man eating) crocodiles, archaeology and sculpture items, work from Khajuraho, Bharat and many other sites. The imposing St. Paul’s Cathedral built between 1839 and 1847 was the first Church of England cathedral to be built in the British Empire. Return to the hotel for check out. This evening transfer to the railway station to board the train to New Jalpaiguri departs 2205 hrs. Overnight on board.

DAY 13: NEW JALPAIGURI – DARJEELING Arrive at Jalpaiguri railway station at 0815 hrs. On arrival proceed to board the Toy Train for Darjeeling departs at 0910 hrs. On arrival in Darjeeling, at 1500 hrs, transfer to the hotel for checking in. Dinner and stay overnight at the hotel.

DAY 14: DARJEELING Darjeeling conjures visions of serenity, of vibrant green hills steeped in splendour, a land of breathtaking beauty crowned by the majestic Himalayas. Darjeeling is one of the most magnificent hill resorts in the world. This heavenly retreat is bathed in hues of every shade. The flaming red rhododendrons, the sparkling white magnolias, the miles of undulating hillsides covered with emerald green tea bushes, the exotic forests of silver fir – all under the blanket of a brilliant azure sky dappled with specks of clouds, compellingly confounds Darjeeling as the QUEEN OF HILL STATIONS. Darjeeling – the name is derived from the Tibetan word ‘Dorje’ which means the precious stone or ecclesiastical sceptre, which is emblematic of the thunderbolt of Indra, and ‘ling’ – a place, hence the land of the thunderbolt. The sceptre of Indra is believed to have fallen at a place where now stands the Observatory Hill. Darjeeling beckons thousands today for a leisurely respite from the bustle of the madding crowd. The traveller – whether a tourist or a trekker, an ornithologist or a photographer, a botanist or an artist – will find in Darjeeling an experience which will remain etched in ones memory – forever. Early morning excursion to Tiger Hill – Situated at an altitude of 2590 meters (8482 ft.) and 13 kms from the town, this spot has earned international fame for the magnificent view of the sunrise over “Kanchenjunga” and the great Eastern Himalayan Mountains. Even Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak, is visible from here. Return to the Hotel en route visiting Ghoom Monastery. Later, have breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast enjoy a city tour of Darjeeling visiting Tibetan Refugee Handicraft Centre and the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute. Situated on Jawahar Parbat about 2 km. From Chowrasta, this unique institution trains mountaineers. It has a museum containing an interesting collection of mountaineering equipment. Adjacent to the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, it is a high altitude wild life park and new home for Siberian Tiger, Himalayan Black Bear, Deer, Red Panda, Snow Leopard and Birds. Timings: 9 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. (closed on Thursdays). The Snow Leopard Breeding Centre was started in 1986 to breed Snow Leopards in captivity with the help of International Snow Leopard Captive Breeding project. Closed on Thursday. Afternoon proceed to visit Tukver Tea Estate (Orthodox Tea). Return to the hotel later on for dinner and overnight. Breakfast, lunch and dinner at the hotel.

DAY 15: DARJEELING-GANGTOK Drive to Gangtok visiting the Pemayangtse monastery en route. Pemayangste is situated in Pelling, West Sikkim. It is perched at a height of 2085 mtrs and is the second oldest and perhaps the most important monastery in Sikkim. This monastery belongs to the Nyigma order and all the Nyigma order monasteries in Sikkim are subordinate to it. Enjoy your lunch here then continue to Gangtok.

On arrival in Gangtok, check into the hotel. Evening is free to explore the colourful market. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.

Gangtok – The capital of Sikkim and a city of great scenic beauty, is surrounded by green forests. There are a number of monasteries in and around Sikkim, each a symbol of Himalayan Buddhism. Overnight in Gangtok. Breakfast, lunch and dinner at the hotel.

DAY 16: IN GANGTOK After breakfast at the hotel take a morning excursion to Rumtek Monastery, Tibetology and Do Drul Chorten. Enchey Monastery, The Residency – for an excellent view of the mountains, the White Memorial Hall, Institute of Tibetology and Deer Park. Continue to visit the famous Rumtek Monastery belonging to the RED HAT sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Overnight, stay at the hotel. DAY 17: GANGTOK – BAGDOGRA (drive) – DELHI (fly) After breakfast at the hotel drive to Bagdogra – straight to the airport to board flight for Delhi departs at 1205 hrs. Meet on arrival at Delhi airport at 1355 hrs and transfer to the hotel for check in. Overnight, stay at the hotel.

DAY 18: DEPART DELHI Early this morning in time transfer to the airport to board flight for onwards destination.Tour ends Important note: Taj Mahal, Agra will remain closed on Every Friday. Red Fort, Delhi will remain closed on Every Monday Please plan the dates accordingly.

HOTELS ENVISAGED (or similar, depending on availability):

CityCategory ACategory B
Delhi- 02 nightsThe Park – Luxury roomLe Meridien – Premium room
Agra – 01 nightTrident Hilton – Premium roomJaypee Palace – Standard room
Khajuraho- 01 nightRadisson – Superior roomTaj Chandela – Superior room
Varanasi- 01 nightRadisson – Superior roomTaj Ganges – Superior room
Puri – 02 nightsToshali Sands – -Standard roomMayfari Beach Resort – Standard room
Bhubaneswar – 02 nightsSwosti Plaza – Standard roomTrident Hilton – Premium room
Kolkata – 01 nightThe Park – Standard roomThe Oberoi Grand – Premium room
Darjeeling – 02 nightsMayfari Hill Resort – Standard roomWindamere – Standard room
Gangtok – 02 nightsTashi Delek – Standard roomNorkhill – Standard room
Delhi – 01 nightThe Park – -Luxury roomLe Meridien – -Premium room

TOUR COST

All Tours are subject to an Acceptance Payment/Deposit of £200

Cost per person on twin share basis as per itinerary

On application for the current Tour Cost

Where prices are quoted in US$, the UK pounds price shown is based on current exchange rates.

Airfares are included in the tour cost but the price is subject to change without notice.

Payment 1. Acceptance Payment £200 per person (non refundable) by Bank transfer or cheque payable to “S W & M Miller” Your Contract for all tour arrangements is directly with Creative Travel Delhi, India to whom payment for the tour is made. 2. Eight weeks prior to arrival in India (or on Acceptance) – 50% of the cost is payable in US $, by Credit Card or International Bank Transfer, direct to Creative Travel, India. 3. On arrival in India – the remaining 50% is payable, in US $, by Credit Card or Cash.

Cancellation Charges

35 days prior to arrival a cancellation fee of US$200 per person will be applicable. 30 days notice of cancellation a fee of 25% of the total amount will be applicable. 25 days notice of cancellation a fee of 50% of the total amount will be applicable Less than 25 days notice incurs the full amount. Acceptance Payment non refundable

Included in the Cost

  • Accommodation on a twin sharing room and breakfast basis at the places except Darjeeling and Gangtok where the accommodation will be provided on a full board basis.
  • Any single room subject to a supplement shown.
  • All transfers, sightseeing and excursions by air-conditioned vehicle up to Kolkata while in Darjeeling/Gangtok it is based on a non AC vehicle.
  • Services of local English speaking guide at all places of visits.
  • Entrance fees at monuments (except camera fees)
  • Cycle Rickshaw ride during Old Delhi visit
  • Train tickets for Delhi-Agra-Jhansi in AC chair car while in Overnight train for Varanasi-Bhubaneswar and Kolkata-New Jalpaiguri in 2nd class AC sleeper class. During Toy Train journey it is by ordinary class.
  • Tea estate in Darjeeling
  • Boat cruise in Varanasi on the River Ganges
  • Porterage at airports and hotels (not tips).
  • All currently applicable taxes. 
  • Prices quoted in US$ and the UK pounds price shown is based on current exchange rates. 

 

Excluded from the Cost

  • Expenses of a personal nature such as table drinks, laundry, telephone calls, Internet charges, mineral water, tips, shopping etc.
  • Any other meals or services not mentioned in the programme.
  • Any international airfare or any airport taxes.
  • Any Government or State taxes subsequently introduced.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Any Christmas or New Year Dinner