Snowlion Expeditions- monk.JPG

India Cultural Tour
26Days/25Nights

SKETCH ITINERARY

Day 01: Arrive Delhi

Day 02: In Jaisalmer

Day 03: In Jaisalmer

Day 04: Jaisalmer - Jodhpur

Day 05: In Jodhpur

Day 06: In Jodhpur

Day 07: Jodhpur - Udaipur.

Day 08: In Udaipur

Day 09: In Udaipur

Day 10: Udaipur – Pushkar

Day 11: Pushkar - Jaipur

Day 12: In Jaipur

Day 13: Jaipur - Bharatpur

Day 14: Bharatpur - Agra

Day 15: In Agra

Day 16: Agra to Delhi.

Day 17: In Delhi

Day 18: Delhi – Gangtok

Day 19: In Gangtok

Day 20: Gangtok –Pelling 

Day 21: In Pelling

Day 22: In Pelling

Day 23: Pelling to Darjeeling

Day 24: In Darjeeling

Day 25: Darjeeling - Bagdogra

Steep Mountains

DETAILED ITINERARY

Day 01: Arrive Delhi – (Fly) to Jaisalmer

Arrive Delhi at the International Terminal (T-3) and then further fly to Jaisalmer, for which terminals need to be changed as Spice Jet take off from Domestic Terminal (T-1). On arrival at Jaisalmer, our representative will receive you at Airport and will assist you with a smooth transfer to hotel. Check in to your hotel and remaining time free at leisure.

Overnight stay at Hotel Narayan Niwas.

Day 02: In Jaisalmer, Sightseeing

After having leisurely breakfast proceed for the full day sightseeing of Jaisalmer. Enjoy the day with majestic forts, interesting lifestyle and friendly people of Jaisalmer. In the evening drive back to hotel for overnight stay.

Overnight stay at Hotel Narayan Niwas.

Day Sightseeing : Jaisalmer Fort, Patwon Ki Haveliyan , Nathmal Ki Haveli and Salim Singh Ki Haveli.

Jaisalmer Fort : Jaisalmer Fort locally known as Sonar Quila is one of the largest forts in the world located in Jaisalmer City in Rajasthan, India. It was built in 1156 AD by the Bhati Rajput ruler RaoJaisal, from where it originates its name. This fort is popularly known as the 'Sone Ka Quila (Golden Fort)' by the local people and is one of the most magnificent monuments in the city of Jaisalmer. The fort is standing proudly in the middle of the unending golden sands of Thar Desert. The Fort is the second oldest in Rajasthan. Two hundred and fifty feet tall and reinforced by imposing crenellated sandstone wall 30 feet high; it has 99 bastions, 92 of which were built between 1633 and 1647.

Patwon Ki Haveliyan : The PatwonJiki Haveli is the most important and the largest haveli, as it was the first erected in Jaisalmer. It is not a single haveli but a cluster of 5 small havelis. The first in the row is also the most popular, and is also known as Kothari's Patwa Haveli. The first among these was commissioned and constructed in the year 1805 by Guman Chand Patwa, then a rich trader of jewellery and fine brocades, and is the biggest and the most ostentatious. Patwa was a rich man and a renowned trader of his time and he could afford and thus order the construction of separate stories for each of his 5 sons. These were completed in the span of 50 years. All five houses were constructed in the first 60 years of the 19th century. PatwonJi Ki is renowned for its ornate wall paintings, intricate yellow sandstone-carved jharokhas (balconies), gateways and archways. Although the building itself is made from yellow sandstone, the main gateway is brown.

Nathmal Ki Haveli :Nathmal Ki Haveli is a famous landmark of Jaisalmer. The architecture of this mansion is a unique blend of Rajput as well as Islamic style of construction. It is quite different from the other palaces and havelis around Rajasthan. Nathmal Singh Ki Haveli was supposed to be the official residence of the Prime Minister of Jaisalmer. Two brothers named Hathi and Lulu were sanctioned with the responsibility of the construction of this magnificent haveli. They started building the haveli simultaneously with each brother concentrating on one side of the haveli. The result of building it simultaneously showed up in the haveli with different left and right sides! However, it didn't look too obvious and it comes into notice only when observed a bit closely. The haveli was decorated grandly. The entrance of the haveli has two gigantic elephants carved out of yellow sandstone that look almost real. The pillars are enormous with delicate carvings on them. The walls have vivid description of flora and fauna and have been designed with lovely paintings and carvings.

Salim Singh Ki Haveli: Salim Singh kihaveli has been built on the remains of an older haveli built in the late 17th century. The new building was built in the year 1815 and was occupied by the Mehta family of Jaisalmer. They were the most influential family of their time. This haveli was commissioned by Salim Singh, the then Prime Minister of the kingdom when Jaisalmer was the capital.  The haveli has a distinct architecture. The roof has been constructed in the form of Peacock. The haveli is situated beside the hills near the Jaisalmer Fort. People claim that Salim Singh made two additional floors in order to make it as high as the fort but the Maharaja did not take this attempt in good spirit. He ordered the extra floors to be torn down.

Day 03: Jaisalmer - Sam Sand Dunes - Jaisalmer. (80 Kms / 02 Hours approx.)

After having leisurely breakfast, morning will be free. Later in the afternoon visit Sam Sand Dunes which is a must visit place to see the beauty of Sunset from Thar desert. In the evening drive back to your hotel for overnight stay.

Overnight stay at Hotel Narayan Niwas.

Sam Sand Dunes: The silky Sam Sand Dunes, 40 km west of Jaisalmer along a good sealed road (maintained by the Indian army), are one of the most popular excursions from the city. The band of dunes is about 2km long and is undeniably one of the most picturesque in the region. Sam sand dunes, is one of the most authentic desert dune site in whole India, where you will find 30-60 meter tall sand dunes.

Day 04: Jaisalmer - Jodhpur. (288 Kms / 06 Hours approx.)

After having leisurely breakfast drive to Jodhpur which is the second largest city in Rajasthan and is popularly known as the Blue City. The name is clearly befitting as most of the architecture – forts, palaces, temples, havelis and even houses are built in vivid shades of blue. On arrival, check in to your hotel and afternoon free at leisure.

Overnight stay at Hotel Ratan Vilas.

Jodhpur: Jodhpur, once the capital of the former princely state of Marwar, is now the second largest city of Rajasthan. Flanked on its western side by the Mehrangarh Fort, and on the eastern side by the stately sandstone Palace of UmaidBhawan; the monuments temples and gardens of Jodhpur depict a multi-faceted grandeur.Founded in 1459 AD by the SuryavanshiRaoJodha, Jodhpur gradually grew around the towering Mehrangarh Fort, built as a stronghold on the advice of a sage. Alongwith Bikaner and Jaisalmer, Jodhpur too is situated on the ancient silk route that linked Central Asia and Northern India with the seaports of Gujarat. As a result it became a major trading centre in the 16th century. Reminiscent of the bygone years is the fact that Jodhpur is still the leading centre for cattle, camels, wood, salt and agricultural crops. The beauty and imagination that has gone into the making of this monumental city proclaim the life-springs of creative genius that appear incongurent with the harshness of this land and its climate.

 

Day 05: In Jodhpur, Sightseeing

After having breakfast, proceed for the city sightseeing. The city is dominated by the huge palace complexes. Later in the evening drive back to your hotel for overnight stay.

Overnight stay at Hotel Ratan Vilas.

Day Sightseeing: Mehrangarh Fort, JaswantThada and UmaidBhawan Palace Museum.

Mehrangarh Fort: The fort was built by RaoJodha in 1459 when he transferred his capital from Mandore. The fort has 68-ft wide and 117-ft elevated walls which overlook the surrounding plain. The fort has seven gates and the most famous among them is the Jayapol (meaning victory). This gate was constructed by Maharaja Man Singh to celebrate his triumph over the armies of Jaipur and Bikaner. Another gate- Fattehpol, which also means victory gate was raised by Maharaja Ajit Singh to commemorate the defeat of the Mughals. The palm imprints are placed on the porch leading to the place of funeral pyre. At the left, lies the chhatri of Kirat Singh Soda, the valorous soldier who died on the spot while guarding the fort against the Amber armies. The splendid cenotaphs testify the valor and fearlessness of the Rathore kings of Jodhpur.

UmaidBhawan Palace Museum: The palace is named after Maharaja Umed Singh, who is the grandfather of present owner of the palace. In earlier times, the palace was known to be the ‘Chittar palace’ as it is located on Chittar hill (the highest point Jodhpur). UmaidBhawan Palace in Jodhpur is a masterpiece of brilliant architecture and boasts of a wonderful mélange of Rajput and Victorian styles. The palace was broken down on 18th November 1929 by Maharaja Umed Singh and the construction was in progress until 1944. Later, it was constructed in order to provide employment to the poor and unemployed of the place. The Palace is one among the World’s largest private residences comprising 347 rooms. In today’s time, the main owner of the palace is Maharaja of Jodhpur, Gaj Singh. The palace is mainly divided into three compartments namely the Maharaja’s royal residence, a museum and a heritage hotel.The museum here has a huge collection of weapons, a banner presented by Queen Victoria and amazing clocks providing detailed information about the royal era of Rajasthan.

JaswantThada : The JaswantThada is an architectural marvel with intricate carvings. Famed as one of the most beautiful white marble cenotaphs, it was built in 1899 by Maharaja Sardar Singh in commemoration of his father Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. This white marble wonder of Rajasthan is often called the TajMahal of Marwar. The splendid edifice is a perfect example of Rajputana style of architecture. Its impeccable design and architecture is symbolic of the fine craftsmanship of the bygone era.The main memorial is built like a temple, with beautiful domes and finely carved sculptures. Visitors can see here beautiful portraits of the various rulers of Jodhpur. The complex also features a memorial of a peacock that flew into a funeral pyre. Magnificently carved gazebos, an exquisite multi-tiered garden and a small lake surround the cremation ground.

Day 06: In Jodhpur, Free Day

Enjoy leisurely breakfast at hotel and the day will be free at leisure. Transport will be available for your convenience whole day.

Overnight stay at Hotel Ratan Vilas.

Day 07: Jodhpur – Ranakpur, Jain Temples visit (Lunch Break) - Udaipur.

(259 Kms / 07 Hours approx.)

After having breakfast drive to Udaipur, which is also known as the Lake City of India. Enroute visit magnificent Jain Temples at Ranakpur which are acclaimed world-wide for their intricate and superb architectural style. After spending some time at Ranakpur and enjoying lunch, drive further to Udaipur. On arrival at Udaipur, check in to your hotel and evening free at Leisure.

Overnight stay atHotel Lake Pichola (Lake View Room).

Jain Temple, Ranakpur : The Jain temple at Ranakpur is a slice of heaven relocated on earth. This architectural marvel is as delicate as finely embroidered lace yet as imposing and complex in design as it is profoundly logical. The Chaturmukha Jain Temple of Ranakpur In the heart of the remote and enchanting valley of the Arvallis. Placed on a lofty plinth, the three-storeyed marble edifice, to which the genius of the artist has imparted exquisite artistic grace, and which his deep devotion has endowed with serene spiritual dignity is verily a poem in stone. The temple is said to have been built by Seth DharnaSah (a Jain businessman) with the aid of Rana Kumbha, who ruled Mewar in the 15th century. Ranakpur got its name after the name of the Rajput Monarch and likewise the temples. The temple complex is positioned in an isolated valley on the western side of the Aravalli Range. The Jain Temples of Ranakpur are certainly creditable for their splendid architecture. This temple is wholly constructed in light colored marble and comprises a basement covering an area of 48000 sq feet. There are more than 1400 exquisitely carved pillars that support the temple. In the complex, there are several temples including Chaumukha temple, Parsavanath temple, Amba Mata Temple and Surya Temple.

Day 08: In Udaipur, Sightseeing

After having leisurely breakfast proceed for the full day sightseeing of Udaipur. Enjoy your full day with magnificiant Forts, Palaces and Lakes. Later in the evening drive back to hotel for overnight stay.

Overnight stay at Hotel Lake Pichola(Lake View Room).

Day Sightseeing: City Palace& Museum, Jagdish Temple, Lake Palace,JagMandir and Saheliyon Ki Bari.

Udaipur: Known as one of the most romantic cities of India and at times referred to as the 'Kashmir of Rajasthan'. Located in a valley and surrounded by 4 lakes, Udaipur has natural offerings with a grandeur multiplied by human effort, to make it one of the most enchanting and memorable tourist destinations. It justifies all names ever offered to its charm from 'Jewel of Mewar' to 'Venice of the East'. Apart from Lakes, this beautiful historical city adorns itself with forts, palaces, temples and hills. And though the entire city's architecture is flattering, the Lake palace hotel is something that offers the city a visual definition. The revered Nathdwara temple is about 60 km from Udaipur.

City Palace& Museum: A palace complex built by MaharanaUdai Singh, the City Palace is grandeur personified. A conglomeration of several buildings with towers, balconies and cupolas built all over, the City Palace also houses a crystal gallery, which boasts of royal artifacts and the world’s largest private collection of crystal. It is one of Rajasthan’s largest palaces and offers splendid views of Lake Pichola. A must-not-miss experience in Udaipur is the hour long Mewar Sound and Light Show. This regal rendering of the history of Mewar takes place every evening at the City Palace complex. The scenic beauty that Udaipur boasts of makes it a favourite destination among film directors. A lot of Hindi as well as English movies have been shot at various places in Udaipur.

Jagdish Temple: Udaipur is home to some of the oldest temples in India. One of the most popular temples is the Jagdish Temple located in the City Palace complex. Representing the true Indo-Aryan style of architecture, this temple was built by MaharanaJagat Singh and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The four-armed idol of Lord Vishnu that stands in the main shrine is an astonishing work of art, carved out of a single piece of black stone. The main shrine, which is at the center, is ringed by four smaller shrines, dedicated to Lord Ganesha, the Sun God, Goddess Shakti and Lord Shiva, respectively.

Lake Palace (Summer Palace): Situated on the Jag Niwas Island in the middle of Lake Pichola, the Lake Palace is the most compelling of Udaipur’s attractions. It was built by MaharanaJagat Singh II almost two and a half centuries ago and is now revered as the Taj Lake Palace, one of the most beautiful and romantic hotels in the world (Palace will be seen from outside only). With the Aravalli Hills and city palace as backdrop, the beauty of the Palace and its surroundings is further accentuated. The Lake Palace is one of the most photographed monuments of Rajasthan. Capture the monument in all its beauty as it shimmers in the moon light in the midst of Lake Pichola.

Lake Pichola Boat Ride: The picturesque boat ride on Lake Pichola not only provides the best scenic view of the lake and the mountains in the city, but also presents some of the most important historical monuments dotted along the lakeside or submerged within the lake. Beginning with the monumental lakeside of the City Palace, the boat ride moves to the picturesque ghats with their distinctive steps. The lake-side is lined with the havelis of the nobles, most prominent being the Bagoreki Haveli. The GangaurGhat with the triple-arched Tripolia stands as a magnificent piece of architecture at the end of Bagoreki Haveli.

Jag Mandir: Jag Mandiris a palace built on an island in the Lake Pichola. It is also called the "Lake Garden Palace". Its construction is credited to three Maharanas of the SisodiaRajputs of Mewar kingdom. The construction of the palace was started in 1551 by Maharana Amar Singh, continued by Maharana Karan Singh (1620–1628) and finally completed by MaharanaJagat Singh I (1628–1652). It is named as "JagatMandir" in honour of the last named MaharanaJagat Singh. The royal family used the palace as a summer resort and pleasure palace for holding partiesThe palace served as a refuge to asylum seekers on two separate occasions.[

Saheliyon Ki Bari: Saheliyon Ki Bari is one the most beautiful gardens in Udaipur. The garden is famous for its lush green lawns, marble art and fountains. English translation of Saheliyon Ki Bari means "Garden of maids". This renowned garden is located on the banks of FatehSagar Lake, presenting a green retreat in the dry lands of Rajasthan. Garden of maids was built in the 18th century by MaharanaSangram Singh for the royal ladies. As per the legends, the garden was designed by the king himself and he presented this garden to his queen. Actually, the Queen was accompanied by 48 maids in her marriage. To offer all of them, pleasurable moments away from the political intrigues of the court, this garden was made. This patterned garden used to be the popular relaxing spot of the royal ladies. The queen with her maids and female companions used to come here for a stroll and spend their time in leisure.

 

Day 09: In Udaipur Free Day

Enjoy leisurely breakfast at hotel and the day will be free at leisure. Transport will be available for your convenience whole day.

Overnight stay at Hotel Lake Pichola.

Day 10: 12-01-2018: Udaipur – Pushkar, Afternoon temple visit (277 Kms / 06 Hours approx.) (B /- /- )

After having breakfast drive to Pushkar also known as the THE TOWN OF FAIRS AND FESTIVITIES. The journey to Pushkar will take you through various small villages and you can also witness the homes of local community whose infrastructures are quite attractive and also unique in design. On arrival at Pushkar check in to your hotel and later in the evening visit Pushkar Lake and Brahma temple which is the only temple dedicated to Lord Brahma in the whole world.

Overnight stay at Master Paradise.

Day sightseeing: Pushkar Lake and Brahma Temple.

Pushkar: Pushkar is one of the oldest cities in India. Located to the northwest of Ajmer, the tranquil city of Pushkar is a favoured destination for devotees flocking to Rajasthan. Situated at a height of 510 metres, Pushkar is surrounded by hillocks on three sides. The ‘Nag Pahar’, literally meaning Snake Mountain forms a natural border between Ajmer and Pushkar. Known as ‘the rose garden of Rajasthan’, the essence of the famous Pushkar rose is exported all over the world. Along with an interesting mythological history, a legacy of timeless architectural heritage makes Pushkar a fascinating city.

According to legends, Lord Brahma, believed to be the creator of the Universe dropped a lotus to the ground leading to the immediate creation of a lake. He then decided to name the place after the flower, and thus the name, Pushkar. The city of Pushkar is home to the only temple dedicated to Lord Brahma in the whole world. Hindus consider a journey to Pushkar to be the ultimate pilgrimage that must be undertaken to attain salvation.

 

Pushkar Lake: Legend has it that a lotus fell from the hands of Lord Brahma, the god of creation, and Pushkar Lake was born, making it as old as creation itself. Hindu mythology speaks about Panch Sarovars (Five Lakes) – Man Sarovar, Bindu Sarovar, Narayan Sarovar, Pampa Sarovar and Pushkar Sarovar, of which, Pushkar Lake is considered to be the most sacred. Devotees believe that bathing in the waters of the lake on Kartik Poornima (during the Pushkar Fair) will nullify sins and cure all skin diseases. This artificial lake has been created by building a dam and lies nestled in the folds of the Aravalli range, surrounded by a desert and hills on all sides. The lake has 52 bathing ghats (steps leading into the water) and the water around each ghat is believed to possess special medicinal powers. The Pushkar Lake is a popular destination for pilgrims, as evidenced by the over 500 temples that dot the banks of the lake.

Brahma Temple: Jagatpita Brahma Mandir is a temple dedicated to the Hindu God of Creation, Lord Brahma and is located close to the sacred Pushkar Lake. The ancient structure is about 2000 years old, although the current structure dates to the 14th century. Pushkar has over 500 temples, some very old, but the Brahma temple is the most important among them. Legend has it that Brahma came down upon earth to perform a yajna and chose this site for his temple. In the 8th century, Hindu philosopher Adi Shankara devoted himself to renovating the temple, but the current structure is credited to Maharaja Jawat Raj of Ratlam, who repaired and slightly modified it. The inner sanctum of the temple is dedicated to Lord Brahma and his second wife, Gayatri. The temple is made of marble and stone stabs. Its red pinnacle (shikhara) can be seen from a distance and the temple has a distinct hamsa (bird) motif. On Kartik Poornima during Pushkar Fair, the town celebrates a festival dedicated to Brahma. Devout pilgrims visit the temple after bathing and cleansing themselves in the sacred Pushkar Lake. The Brahma temple has been recognised as one of the ten most religious places in the world and is considered to be one of the five sacred pilgrimage destinations for Hindus.

 

Day 11: Pushkar - Jaipur, Afternoon  Sightseeing (145 Kms / 03 Hours approx.)

After having leisurely breakfast drive to Jaipur. On arrival at Jaipur check in to your hotel and after a short rest proceed for the halfday sightseeing of city also known as the Pink City of India because of the color of the stone exclusively used for the construction of all the structures. Later in the evening drive back to the hotel for overnight stay.

 

Jaipur: Planned by Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, Jaipur holds the distinction of being the first planned city of India. Renowned globally for its coloured gems, the capital city of Rajasthan combines the allure of its ancient history with all the advantages of a metropolis. The bustling modern city is one of the three corners of the golden triangle that includes Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. The story goes that in 1876, the Prince of Wales visited India on a tour. Since the colour pink was symbolic of hospitality, Maharaja Ram Singh of Jaipur painted the entire city pink. The pink that colours the city makes for a marvellous spectacle to behold. Jaipur rises up majestically against the backdrop of the forts Nahargarh, Jaigarh and MotiDoongri. Jaipur traces back its origins to 1727 when it was established by Jai Singh II, the Raja of Amber. He shifted his capital from Amber to the new city because of the rapidly-growing population and an increasing water scarcity.

Suggested Sights: JantarMantar, HawaMahal and City Palace.

City Palace: Built by Sawai Jai Singh, it became the official seat of the Jaipur royal family after 1922. A large part of the brilliant palace is now a museum, displaying an excellent collection of artifacts used by the Rajput royalty. Situated in the heart of the old City, it occupies about one seventh of the old city area. The palace is a blend of Rajput and Mughal architecture, it houses a Seven storeyed Chandra Mahal in the centre, which affords a fine view of the gardens and the city. Diwan-E-Am (Hall of public audience) has intricate decorations and collection of manuscripts, Diwan-E-Khas (Hall of private audience) has a marble pawed gallery Mubarak Mahal has a rich collection of costumes and textiles. There is a Clock Tower near Mubarak Mahal. SilehKhana has a collection of armory and weapons.

JantarMantar: Built in 1728, it is one of Sawai Jai Singh's unique observatories. It has instruments that have been scientifically designed to predict the movement of the major stars accurately. It represents the high point of medieval Indian astronomy. The monument features masonry, stone and brass instruments that were built using astronomy and instrument design principles of ancient Hindu Sanskrit texts.The instruments allow the observation of astronomical positions with the naked eye. The monument expresses architectural innovations, as well as the coming together of ideas from different religious and social beliefs in 18th century India. The observatory is an example of the Ptolemaic positional astronomy which was shared by many civilizations

HawaMahal : Also called the "Palace of Winds" HAWA MAHAL - built in 1799, by Maharaja SawaiPratap Singh, is the most recognizable monument of Jaipur. The 5 storied stunning semi-octagonal monument having 152 windows with over hanging latticed balconies is a fine piece of Rajput architecture. Originally designed for the royal ladies to watch and enjoy the processions and other activities, on the street below.

Day 12: In Jaipur (Kite Festival / Free Day )

After having leisurely breakfast enjoy the Kite festival which is one of the most colorful festival of Rajasthan and provides unlimited fun & frolic.

Overnight stay at Welcome Heritage Traditional Haveli.

Kite Festival: Kite festival of Jaipur is observed on the day of MakarSankranti or Uttarayan. Celebrated on 14th of January to mark the transition of the sun from dhanurashi (Sagittarius) to makararashi (Capricorn), the day is considered auspicious. It is said that Uttarayan or northward journey of the sun begins on the day of MakarSankranti.

The people of Jaipur, on this day take a holy dip in Galtaji, an important pilgrimage in Jaipur. They pray to sun god to bless them with good health, wealth and good crop. On this occasion, the pink city turns all colourful with the beautiful kites in the sky. This festival is a wonderful spectacle as kites take to the sky all across the state. Enjoy colourful kites in a variety of shapes and sizes, the celebration looks truly spectacular in the evening, when fireworks alongside kites with lights in them, brighten the city’s skyline. Celebrated across the state of Rajasthan, the festivities peak in Jaipur.

Day 13: Jaipur - Bharatpur. (187 Kms / 04 Hours approx.)

After having leisurely breakfast drive to Bharatpur, also known as “Bird Paradise” and the "Eastern Gateway to Rajasthan". On Arrival Check in to your hotel and remaining time free at leisure.

 

 

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary: One of the finest bird parks in the world, Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary also known as Keoladeo Ghana National Park is a reserve that offers protection to faunal species as well. Keoladeo, the name derives from an ancient Hindu temple, devoted to Lord Shiva, which stands at the centre of the park. 'Ghana' means dense, referring to the thick forest, which used to cover the area. Nesting indigenous water- birds as well as migratory water birds and waterside birds, this sanctuary is also inhabited by Sambar, Chital, Nilgai and Boar.

While many of India's parks have been developed from the hunting preserves of princely India, Keoladeo, popularly known as Bharatpur Wildlife Sanctuary, is perhaps the only case where the habitat has been created by a maharaja. In earlier times, Bharatpur town used to be flooded regularly every monsoon. In 1760, an earthen dam (Ajan Dam) was constructed, to save the town, from this annual vagary of nature. The depression created by extraction of soil for the dam was cleared and this became the Bharatpur Lake.

At the beginning of this century, this lake was developed, and was divided into several portions. A system of small dams, dykes, sluice gates, etc., was created to control water level in different sections. This became the hunting preserve of the Bharatpur royalty, and one of the best duck - shooting wetlands in the world. Hunting was prohibited by mid-60s. The area was declared a national park on 10 March 1982, and accepted as a World Heritage Site in December 1985.

 

Day 14: In Bharatpur, Morning Park visit – (Drive) - Agra.(57 Kms / 02 Hours approx.)

After having leisurely breakfast enjoy the Rickshaw ride inside national park as watching birds in its natural habitat has its own essence and pleasure. The numerous counts of the bird species are the major attractions of Bharatpur. These species fly through distant places like Siberia and Central Asia specifically in winters. Migratory birds at Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary include several species of Cranes, Pelicans, Geese, Ducks, Eagles, Hawks, Shanks, Stints, Wagtails, Warblers, Wheatears, Flycatchers, Buntings, Larks and Pipits, etc.Along with that some major counts of Sambal, Chital, Nilgai and Boar can also be found at the sanctuary.

After spending some time at park, drive back to your hotel and later drive further to Agra. On arrival at Agra, check in to your hotel and remaining time free at leisure.

Overnight stay at Hotel Taj Galaxy – Taj View Room.

 

Day 15:  In Agra, Sightseeing.

After having leisurely breakfast proceed for the day sightseeing of Agra. Later in the afternoon drive back to your hotel for overnight stay.

 

Day Sightseeing: TajMahal, Agra Fort and Tomb of I'timād-ud-Daulah.

Agra: Home to one the Seven Wonders of the World the TajMahal, Agra is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. Along with Delhi and Jaipur, Agra forms the Golden Triangle of tourism in India. Situated in Uttar Pradesh, Agra is synonymous with the TajMahal however there’s lot more to the city than this world-famous monument. Right from the epic Mahabharata to the Mughal Dynasty, Agra has been monumental and has played a significant role in shaping India’s history. The city was first mentioned in Mahabharata as Agrevana which means the border of the forest.

TajMahal: The most photographed monument in the world, the Taj stands in its splendor of white marble. Located on the right bank of the Yamuna River in a vast Mughal garden that encompasses nearly 17 hectares, in the Agra District in Uttar Pradesh. It was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal with construction starting in 1632 AD and completed in 1648 AD, with the mosque, the guest house and the main gateway on the south, the outer courtyard and its cloisters were added subsequently and completed in 1653 AD. The existence of several historical and Quaranic inscriptions in Arabic script have facilitated setting the chronology of TajMahal. For its construction, masons, stone-cutters, inlayers, carvers, painters, calligraphers, dome builders and other artisans were requisitioned from the whole of the empire and also from the Central Asia and Iran. Ustad-Ahmad Lahori was the main architect of the TajMahal.The TajMahal is considered to be the greatest architectural achievement in the whole range of Indo-Islamic architecture.

Tomb of I'timād-ud-Daulah: Tomb of I'timād-ud-Daulah is a Mughal mausoleum in the. Often described as a "jewel box", sometimes called the "Baby Tāj", the tomb of I'timād-ud-Daulah is often regarded as a draft of the TājMahal. Along with the main building, the structure consists of numerous outbuildings and gardens. The tomb, built between 1622 and 1628 represents a transition between the first phase of monumental Mughal architecture – primarily built from red sandstone with marble decorations, as in Humayun's Tomb in Delhi and Akbar's tomb in Sikandra – to its second phase, based on white marble and pietradura inlay, most elegantly realized in the TājMahal.The mausoleum was commissioned by NūrJahān, the wife of Jahangir, for her father MirzāGhiyās Beg, originally a Persian Amir in exile, who had been given the title of I'timād-ud-Daulah .

Agra Fort: Agra Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was built by Mughal Emperor Akbar with the help of 4,000 workers who worked for eight years to finish its construction in 1573. Agra Fort is made of red sandstone and was the seat of the Mughal Empire. Some of the major attractions in Agra Fort that will leave you mesmerized are structures like the Sheesh Mahal, MotiMahal, Jehangir’s Palace and KhasMahal. The fort has four large gate of which the Delhi Gate was used for the king’s formal entry. Diwan-i-Khas and Diwan-i-Aam were reserved for royal audience and the public respectively.

 

Day 16: Agra to Delhi. (227 Kms / 05 Hours approx.)

After having leisurely breakfast drive to Delhi through Express Agra Highway which also is India’s longest expressway. On Arrival at Delhi, Check in to your hotel and evening free at leisure.

 

Delhi: A symbol of the country’s rich past and thriving present, Delhi is a city where ancient and modern blend seamlessly together. It is a place that not only touches your pulse but even fastens it to a frenetic speed. Delhi is a city that bridges two different worlds. Old Delhi, once the capital of Islamic India, is a labyrinth of narrow lanes lined with crumbling havelis and formidable mosques. The city's importance lies not just in its past glory as the seat of empires and magnificent monuments, but also in the rich and diverse cultures.

 

Day 17: In Delhi, Sightseeing

After having leisurely breakfast proceed for the full day sightseeing of Delhi. You will have a fascinating glimpse into the past at Old Delhi, with its labyrinth of narrow lanes, old havelis, and colourful bazaars. Later in the afternoon drive back to hotel for overnight stay.

 

Day Sightseeing: Jama Masjid , Old Delhi Area (Rikshaw Ride), India Gate , President House , Parliament House and Humayun's Tomb.

Jama Masjid : This great mosque of Old Delhi is the largest in India, with a courtyard capable of holding 25,000 devotees. It was begun in 1644 and ended up being the final architectural extravagance of Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor who built the TajMahal and the Red Fort. Jama Masjid The highly decorative mosque has three great gates, four towers and two 40 m-high minarets constructed of strips of red sandstone andwhite marble.

Old Delhi Rikshaw Ride: A cycle rickshaw ride though Old Delhi is a great way to discover the sights of the old city at a leisurely pace. A rickshaw ride will take you through markets buzzing with people going about their daily chores, vendors selling their wares and shops decorated and ready for business. While on the tour you could also sample some of Delhi’s famous street food such as Chaat, dahibhallas and paranthas from the legendary ParatheWaaliGali. The rickshaw tour is a great way to discover a different aspect of Delhi and experience the energy of the city.

India Gate:  At the centre of New Delhi stands the 42 m high India Gate, an "Arc-de-Triomphe" like archway in the middle of a crossroad. Almost similar to its French counterpart, it commemorates the 70,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives fighting for the British Army during the World War I. The memorial bears the names of more than 13,516 British and Indian soldiers killed in the Northwestern Frontier in the Afghan war of 1919. The foundation stone of India Gate was laid by His Royal Highness, the Duke of Connaught in 1921 and it was designed by Edwin Lutyens. The monument was dedicated to the nation 10 years later by the then Viceroy, Lord Irwin. Another memorial, Amar JawanJyoti was added much later, after India got its independence. The eternal flame burns day and night under the arch to remind the nation of soldiers who laid down their lives in the Indo-Pakistan War of December 1971.

President House: Home to the President of the world’s largest democracy, is emblematic of Indian democracy and its secular, plural and inclusive traditions. It was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker and stands on a 330 acre estate. It took seventeen years to build this presidential palace which was completed in the year 1929. Almost seven hundred million bricks and three million cubic feet of stone were used in building this architectural marvel that has 2.5 kilometers of corridors and 190 acres of garden area. The main building covers an area of 5 acres and has 340 rooms spread over four floors. The famous Mughal Gardens of the RashtrapatiBhavan cover an area of 15 acres and have 159 celebrated varieties of roses, 60 varieties of bougainvillea and many other verities of flowers.

Parliament House: Parliament House or SansadBhavan is one of the most impressive buildings in Delhi. Located at the end of SansadMarg the Parliament Building was designed by British architect Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker. This iconic building was inaugurated in 1972 by Lord Irwin, the then Governor-General of India.The Parliament House comprises of a central hall which is circular in shape and 98 feet in diameter. The Central Hall is considered to be a very important part of the Parliament building since this is where the Indian Constitution was drafted. The building houses the LokSabha, RajyaSabha and a library hall. In between these three chambers lies a garden. The building also has facilities for accommodation for ministers, important officers of the LokSabha and RajyaSabha, Chairmen and Parliamentary Committees.

Humayun's Tomb: Located near the crossing of Mathura road and Lodhi road, this magnificent garden tomb is the first substantial example of Mughal architecture in India. Humayun's Tomb It was built in 1565 A.D. nine years after the death of Humayun, by his senior widow BegaBegam. Inside the walled enclosure the most notable features are the garden squares (chaharbagh) with pathways water channels, centrally located well proportional mausoleum topped by double dome.There are several graves of Mughal rulers located inside the walled enclosure and from here in 1857 A.D; Lieutenant Hudson had captured the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah II.

 

Day 18: Delhi – (Fly) – Bagdogra – (Drive)-Gangtok (123Kms / 04 Hours approx.) 

After having breakfast, our representative will assist you with a smooth transfer to Airport for your flight to Bagdogra. On arrival at Bagdogra, your driver will receive you at airport and will assist you for your further drive to Gangtok. On arrival at Gangtok, check in to

your hotel and remaining time free at leisure.

Day 19: In Gangtok, Local walking sightseeing (No Transport available)

After having leisurely breakfast enjoy the scenic beauty of Gangtok. Gangtok is abundant in natural beauty and has various natural attractions. Also visit the local villages of the place.In the evening walk back to hotel for overnight stay.

Suggested Sights :EncheyGompa, Namgyal Monastery , Local villages.

Gangtok: The name meaning hill-top, Gangtok can be safely said to be one of the most beautiful hill stations in the country. Gangtok, with magnificent views of Kanchenjunga, uniqueness and vibrancy in colours of culture and tradition, infused into the stunning sceneries and just the right dash of subtle city life is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the area.With everything in just the right amount from a blend of cultural identities to urbanisation, Gangtok is a breathing and dynamic bit of paradise of the northeast. It has an amazing view of mount Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain peak in the world.

Namgyal Monastery: The Namgyal institute of Tibetology was established in 1958 and built in a traditional style. This unique institute promotes research into Mahayana Buddhism, languages and traditions of Tibet. It has one of the world’s largest collections of books and rare manuscripts on Mahayana Buddhism, religious works of art and a collection of astonishingly beautiful and incredibly executed silk embroidery.

EncheyGompa :EnchevGompa is located above Sinolchu Lodge, about 3km from the centre of town. The Enchey monastery is well worth a visit. It was built in 1909, and while it is a relatively small place and not as impressive as the other larger monasteries in Sikkim, it does however sit on a spectacular ridge overlooking Gangtok with great views across to Kanchenjunga.

 

Day 20: Gangtok –Pelling  (112 Kms / 06 Hours approx.)

After having leisurely breakfast drive to Pelling,  a small hamlet nestled within the mountains with much of its traditional lifestyle still preserved. On arrival at Pelling check in your hotel and relax.

Overnight stay at Hotel Norbugang Resort.

Pelling: Pelling, a beautiful petite town sited at a height of 6800ft was initially covered with wild thick forest which served as home to many indigenous wild animals of that period including Wildman( may not be yeti though). This ridge being situated in between two old Buddhist monasteries (Pemayangtse and Sangacholing) developed into a full-fledged village named Pelling. Pelling is one of the best chosen tourist hotspots in Sikkim due to its scenic beauty and the fact that it offers the closest view of world third highest mountain Mt. Khang _ã_Chen-Dzonga and other snow covered ranges from here.

 

Day 21: In Pelling.Local walking sightseeing (No Transport available)

After having leisurely breakfast proceed for the walking sightseeing around Pelling. Pelling’s serene environment and picturesque setting is perfect for nice nature walks and small treks. In the evening walk back to your hotel for overnight stay.

 

Suggested Sights: Pemayangtse Monastery and SangaChoeling Monastery 

Pemayangtse Monastery:Pemayangtse literally means 'Perfect Sublime Lotus'. This is one of the oldest and most important monasteries of Sikkim. Founded in 1705, this monastery belongs to the Nyingma-pa sect. The three-storied building of the monastery houses a good collection of wall paintings and sculptures. On the third floor of the monastery, there is a seven-tiered painted wooden model of the abode of Guru Rimpoche, complete with rainbows, angels and the whole panoply of Buddha and bodhisattva. In January/ February every year, a religious dance called 'Cham' is performed in Pemayangtse.

SangaChoeling Monastery: SangaChoeling Monastery is located on the top of the mountain behind the town of Pelling. The distance to the monastery from town is about 3 km. The road is not motorable and one needs to take 45 minutes walk through a quite path to reach the monastery. The effort of the uphill walk is well rewarded with great views of Pelling and surrounding hills including great views of Mount Kanchenjunga that can be seen from the monastery compound. Built in 1697 the SangaChoeling is one of the oldest monasteries in Sikkim. SangaChoeling means 'the island of esoteric teaching'. This Gompa is another of LhatsunChenpo's creations, and is highly venerated among the Nyingmapa. Gutted by fire, it has been rebuilt and houses some of the original clay statues.This monastery is the second oldest in Sikkim. Since the place can only be reached on foot, even during high tourist season, the monastery is not crowded. One can still enjoy the great views among tranquility.

 

Day 22:  In Pelling. Free Day

The day will be free for leisure activities.

 

Day 23: Pelling to Darjeeling (72 Kms / 04 Hours approx.)

After having leisurely breakfast drive to Darjeeling also known as ‘Queen of The Hills’. On arrival at Darjeeling, check in to your hotel and remaining time free at leisure.

Darjeeling: Darjeeling is a hill station with vast expanses of tea estates and Tibetan influence in their craft, culture and cuisine. The previous summer capital of India under the British Raj, Darjeeling has come off age as one of the most sought after hill stations in India. Famous for its beautiful tea plantations and the quality of Darjeeling tea, Darjeeling is a delight. The toy train established back in 1881, still runs in this part and is also one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. Beautiful colonial architecture including mansions and churches dot this little beautiful town. Filled with people from Tibet, Nepal, nearby Indian states and the Gorkhas, Darjeeling is brimming with cultural diversity. The third highest peak in the world and the highest in India, the Kanchenjunga peak is clearly visible from here and one can enjoy a panoramic view of the peak. Some of Darjeeling's most popular attractions include monasteries, botanical gardens, a zoo, and the Darjeeling-Rangeet Valley Passenger Ropeway cable car which happens to be the longest Asian cable car. Darjeeling is a wonderful place to walk around and explore the tea estates, villages, and markets.

 

Day 24: In Darjeeling, Local walking sightseeing (No Transport available)

After having leisurely breakfast proceed for the walking sightseeing of Darjeeling and explore the tea estates, villages, and markets. You will be lured by the dazzling snow peaks of Kanchenjunga overlooking the hill town and the beautiful tea gardens on the slopes of rolling hills, the orchids, pines & rhododendrons, the cute Himalayan toy train whistling its way through the mountains.  In the evening walk back to your hotel for overnight stay.

Day Sightseeing: GhoomGompa, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI) & Museums and Tea Garden.

GhoomGompa:  More correctly known as YogachoelingGompa, this is probably the most famous monastery in Darjeeling and is about 8km south of the town. It enshrines an image of the Maitreya Buddha and foreigners are allowed to enter the shrine and take photographs. As Ghoom is frequently swathed in mists, and the monastery is old and dark, it is often affectionately called Gloom monastery.

Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI) & Museums: The HMI runs courses to train mountaineers, and maintains a couple of interesting museums. The Mountaineering Museum contains a collection of historic mountaineering equipment, specimens of Himalayan flora and fauna and a relief model of the Himalayas. The Everest Museum next door traces the history of attempts on the great peak. Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, who conquered Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953, lived in Darjeeling and was the director of the institute for many years. He died in 1986 and his statue now stands just above the institute.

Tea Garden: It is said that the best tea in the world comes from India and its not too much of an exaggeration to say that the best tea in India comes from Darjeeling

Day 25: Darjeeling – (Drive) - Bagdogra (68 Kms / 04 Hours approx.) – (Fly)-  Kolkata -(Fly)- Home

After having breakfast your driver will pick you from the hotel and assist you with a smooth transfer to Bagdogra Airport, for your flight to Kolkata. On arrival at Kolkata Airport, board your flight to Home.