DAY 01: ARRIVE DELHI Arrive Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport late this evening. Welcome to India.!!!
Creaitve’s Airport Representative will meet you upon arrival at the airport as soon as you come out from the main hall after you clear all formalities of customs and immigration. A special welcomes awaits you here. Later transfer to the hotel by an air conditioned vehicle. Upon arrival check into the hotel for your overnight stay.
DAY 02: DELHI-MANDAWA (approx. 6 hrs drive) Breakfast at the hotel before driving to Mandawa. On arrival in Mandawa check into the hotel and later visit the havelis of Mandawa. Mandawa, founded mid-18th century, it has interesting murals in the large rugged fort built by Thakur Nawal Singh. The Goenka havelis worth visiting include Ladhuram Tarkesvar (1878) and Dedraj Turmal (1898): the Ladia havelis – Gulab Rai (1870) and Sneh Ram (1906), Murmuria (1935), Newatia (1910) and the Saraf (1870) havelis are interesting. The Siva temple here has a rock crystal lingam. Return to the hotel for overnight stay.
DAY 03: MANDAWA – JAIPUR (approx. 2- 3 hrs drive) Breakfast at the hotel before driving to Jaipur. Arrive in Jaipur check into the hotel. Jaipur – Known as the “Pink City”, Jaipur is the capital of the colourful state of Rajasthan. It has the distinction of being a well planned and laid out city. As you drive through the old part of town, you will witness a life most unlike others. Witness how the city blooms during the day in a kaleidoscope of colour and sound. This afternoon you will visit the City Palace Museum where you can see an imposing blend of traditional Rajasthani and Mughal Art. The museum is resplendent with its collection of robes of royal princes, carpets, an armoury of old weapons, miniature paintings portraying court scenes, battle scenes and processions, Also visit the awe inspiring Jantar Mantar (an accurate observatory built in 1726 AD). Also included is a photo visit at the Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds) – a five storied wonder with a spectacular pyramidal facade and overhanging windows with latticed screens, domes and spires. Overnight, stay at the Hotel.
DAY 04: JAIPUR After breakfast depart the hotel for a half-day excursion to Amber Fort including an elephant ride (if operating).
Jaipur – 11 Kms. from Jaipur, Amber Fort is a marvellous example of Rajput architecture with its terraces and ramparts reflected in the Maota Lake below. Go up the fort on the back of a gaily-caparisoned elephant true to the style of the Maharajas of the past. The interior of the fort has various royal halls decorated with intricate ivory, mirror and glass work complemented by exquisite wall paintings. As you move between the rooms of this magnificent structure, feel the history and visualise the pomp and grandeur of a kingdom never conquered. Afternoon at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.
DAY 05: JAIPUR – RANTHAMBHORE (approx. 4 hrs drive) After breakfast drive to Ranthambore. On arrival in Ranthambore, check into the hotel. Enjoy your lunch at the hotel. The Ranthambore National Park was the hunting ground of Maharaja of Jaipur. In 1955, it was declared a game sanctuary: in 1980, it became a national park. But with the commissioning of Project Tiger in 1972, it was included in the project. With the addition of neighbouring Keladevi and Mansingh sanctuaries, the total area of the national park stands at 1,334 sq km. The entire park – the core area is just 392 sq kms – is not open to the public. The Ranthambore Park is set between the Aravalli and Vindhya ranges. Its deciduous forests were once a part of the magnificent jungles of Central India. The terrain is rugged and there are rocky ridges, hills and open valleys with lakes and pools. Ranthambhore Park is famous for tigers and due to conservation efforts, the tiger population has stabilized if not increased here. The tigers can be spotted quite often even during the day, at their normal pursuits – hunting and taking care of their young ones. Ranthambhore is one of the best places to see these majestic predators. But it cannot be guaranteed! Ranthambore is a heritage site because of the picturesque ruins that dot the wildlife park. There are lake palaces, ‘chhatris’, old fortifications and a majestic 1,000-year-old fort, overlooking the park. The lovely Jogi Mahal is located at the foot of the fort and gives magnificent view of the Padam Tlao, painted white with water lilies. This evening leave the hotel for park visit by Non A/c Jeep or canter to see the wild animals. Jeep will be provided subject to availability. Return to the hotel for overnight stay.
DAY 06: RANTHAMBHORE Early morning leave the hotel for another park visit by non A/c jeep or canter to see Tiger and other wild animals. Return to the hotel/resort for breakfast. Rest of the day is free for independent activities. Have breakfast and lunch at the resort. In the evening proceed for another park visit by non A/C Jeep or Canter to see wild animals. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
DAY 07: RANTHAMBHORE – AGRA After breakfast at the hotel drive to Agra via Bharatpur.
Bharatpur – known as Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Bharatpur is one of the finest water-bird sanctuaries in the world. The 28.73 sq km lake and wetland was artificially created by the Maharaja of Bharatpur in the 19th century. By building small dykes and dams and diverting water from an irrigation canal, he converted this low lying area into a fine wild fowl shooting preserve. In a few years, the new wetland surrounded by marginal forests was able to support thousands of water-birds. Commonly referred to as Bharatpur, the Park is a delight for bird watchers. Over 300 species of birds are found here and raised paths, camouflaged by babul trees and undergrowth make viewing easy. A quiet ride by boat in the early hours of the morning is also an unforgettable experience. There are mixed heronries on the half submerged babul trees and the cacophony is unbelievable as painted storks, open bills, spoon bills, egrets, cormorants, white ibis and multitudes of others, tend their young. Jacanas with their iridescent colours and elegant tail feathers and purple moorhen can be seen delicately treading over the floating vegetation. While harriers and fishing eagles circle overhead in search of prey, the pied kingfisher hovers dramatically over the water in a flurry of wings. There are varieties of storks and cranes and the local sarus crane is elegant in a livery of grey and red. Every year Bharatpur waits with bated breath for the arrival of the Siberian cranes. There are only two wintering places for this rare species one in Iran and other in Bharatpur. These beautiful birds with their distinctive red beaks and facial patches fly over 6400 km from their summer retreats in Siberia. Upon arrival at Bharatpur proceed for Sanctuary visit by cycle Rickshaw to see birds in the famous sanctuary. Later continue the drive to Agra and upon arrival check in to the hotel. Evening is free for independent activities. Overnight, stay at the hotel.
DAY 08: AGRA This morning after breakfast make a visit to that magnificent monument to love – The Taj Mahal.
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. Also 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 (markets) and the hustle bustle of everyday India. This afternoon proceed for a half day excursion to visit Fatehpur Sikri. Fatehpur Sikri – the deserted red sandstone 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. Return to the hotel for overnight stay.
DAY 09: AGRA- Jhansi – KHAJURAHO (train and drive – there is no flight operating) After an early tea/coffee in time transfer to Railway Station to board Shatabadi Express Train for Jhansi departs at 0820 hrs. Arrive Jhansi Railway station at 1040 hrs and then drive to Khajuraho (approx. 5 hr drive). On the way visit Orcha and then continue the drive to Khajuraho. 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 Chatries has a spectacular view of Soaring Temple spires and cenotaphs. When you arrive in Khajuraho check into the hotel. Overnight, stay at the hotel.
DAY 10: KHAJURAHO-VARANASI After breakfast enjoy a half day visit to Khajuraho’s famous Erotic 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. 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 Godess 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. Early in the afternoon in time transfer to the airport to board flight for Varanasi departs at 1330 hrs. Meeting and assistance upon 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.
After wash and change, proceed 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 11: VARANASI – DELHI (fly) 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 proceed on a brief Varanasi City Tour driving through the Benaras Hindu University with a visit to the Bharat Mata (Mother India) Temple. Return to the hotel for check out. In the afternoon transfer to the airport to board flight for Delhi at 1440 hrs. Met upon arrival in Delhi at 1600 hrs. Transfer to the hotel for check in. Overnight, stay at the hotel.
DAY 12: DEPART 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. 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. Return to the hotel for lunch (not included) and check out. Check out at 1200 Noon Afterwards proceed to visit New Delhi. 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 eight 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. This evening witness Classical Dances of India followed by dinner at a local restaurant. Later, transfer to the airport to board your 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):
|City||Category A||Category B||Category C|
|Delhi – 01 night||The Connaught Standard room||The Park Luxury room||Le meridien Premium room|
|Mandawa – 01 night||Castle Mandawa Standard room||Castle Mandawa Standard room||Castle Mandawa Standard room|
|Jaipur – 02 nights||Clarks Amer Standard room||Trident Hilton Premier room||Rajputana Sheraton Executive room|
|Ranthambore – 02 nights||Ranthambore Regency Standard room||Tiger Moonm Resort Standard room||Taj Lodge Superior room|
|Agra – 02 nights||Clarks Shiraz Standard room||Trident Premier room||Jaypee Palace Standard room|
|Khajuraho – 01 night||Holiday Inn Standard room||Radisson Superior room||Taj Chandela Standard room|
|Varanasi – 01 night||Clarks Standard room||Radisson Superior room||Taj Ganges Superior room|
|Delhi – 01 night||The Connaught Standard room||The Park Luxury room||Le 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.
Payment 1. Acceptance Payment (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.
35 days prior to arrival a cancellation fee of US$200 per person will be applicable. 30 days notice of cancellation a fee of 25% of the total amount will be applicable. 25 days notice of cancellation a fee of 50% of the total amount will be applicable Less than 25 days notice incurs the full amount. Acceptance Payment non refundable
Included in the Cost
- Accommodation on a twin sharing, room and breakfast basis at the hotels specified.
- Full board at Ranthambhore National Park
- Any single room subject to a supplement shown.
- All transfers, sightseeing and excursions by air-conditioned car.
- Services of an English speaking local guide at all places (except Ranthambhore and Bharatpur where a naturalist will be provided)
- 01 Sanctuary visit at Bharatpur by cycle rickshaw
- 03 Park visits at Ranthambhore National Park by non AC jeep or Canter (large bus)
- Entrance fees at monuments (except camera fees)
- Cycle Rickshaw ride during Old Delhi visit
- Elephant ride at Amber fort in Jaipur (subject to operating) or jeep.
- Porterage at airports and hotels (not tips).
- All currently applicable taxes.
- Prices quoted in US$ 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