India Cultural Highlights
The Ajanta Caves in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra state, India are a set of 29 rock-cut Buddhist cave monuments. The Ajanta caves, inspired by Buddhist architecture, are among the finest examples of early Buddhist civilization and the most magnificent masterpieces of Indian art. About 100km to the South, Ellora is a set of 34 monasteries and temples, cut into a high basalt cliff, representing an artwork of Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism, from A.D. 600 to 1000.
Begin in Delhi, the bustling capital of India. Fly to Varanasi, the spiritual capital of India (also known as Kashi and Benaras). The centuries-old Khajuraho stone temples were inspired from the ancient art of Kama sutra. After a comprehensive tour of Agra, Jaipur and Udaipur, travel to Hyderabad to view the magnificent Ajanta and Ellora, two ancient religious complexes filled with extraordinary art. This tour will begin in Delhi and end in Mumbai. The itinerary can be reversed.
TRAVEL UNTAMED ON THIS 18-DAY INDIA CULTURAL TOUR…
And, explore its compelling art, architecture & ancient religious sites.
Begin in Delhi, the bustling capital of India. With your private guide, explore the historical sites of Old Delhi including Qutab Minar, Humayun’s tomb, Lodi Gardens and Jama Masjid. New Delhi in comparison has an imprint of the British architect Edwin Lutyens. Most notably are his shiny examples of the Parliament and the President’s House.
Fly to Varanasi, the spiritual capital of India (also known as Kashi and Benaras). Visit the ‘bathing ghats’ where thousands of pilgrims pay homage to the Sun God by immersing themselves in the holy water of River Ganges. Explore Varanasi’s old town, with its ancient universities and renowned silk shops.
Also visit Sarnath, where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon and in the evening, experience the grand ‘Aarti’ ceremony conducted on the banks of the river at sunset.
Continue to Khajuraho, one of India’s most renowned temple complexes. With your private guide, tour the centuries-old stone temples which were inspired from the ancient art of Kama sutra. These enchanting Hindu and Jain temples built between 950 AD and 1050 AD are covered with sculptures that draw their inspiration from the ancient art of Kama Sutra.
Transfer to Agra, and experience the awe-inspiring beauty of Taj Mahal. Tour the splendid Agra fort, built in red sandstone, encapsulating magnificent palaces, halls of public and private audience and beautiful gardens.
Continue to Jaipur, Rajasthan’s great “Pink City,” visiting the centuries-old ruins at Fatehpur Sikri en route. See the rich architectural legacy of Jaipur’s merchants and maharajas hill forts, palaces, an observatory, temples and havelis (courtyard mansions), surrounded by stark desert.
Take an elephant ride to the 16th century Amber Fort. Browse bazaars selling textiles, leatherwork, perfume, jewellery and Jaipur’s traditional blue pottery.
Spend three nights in Udaipur, India’s most romantic city and serene city. Set in the scenic valley of Aravalli hills and surrounded by three lakes, it has its share of palaces including the City Palace, one of the largest palace complexes in Rajasthan. One day, enjoy an excursion to the gorgeous, fresco-covered Juna Mahal palace, or to the spectacular Jain temples of Ranakpur.
Next, visit Ajanta and Ellora, two ancient religious complexes filled with extraordinary art. With your local specialist guide, tour Ajanta’s extensive Buddhist cave temples and monasteries, which are filled with sculptures and paintings. At Ellora, tour spectacular Buddhist, Hindu and Jain temples carved from basalt cliffs.
Begin in exciting Mumbai (Bombay), the commercial centre of India. Tour the city’s cultural attractions, bazaars and most interesting neighbourhoods, and take a private boat ride to the Elephanta Island Caves; inside are extensive Hindu stone sculptures linked to the cult of Shiva.
India Cultural Highlights Explore India’s most compelling art, architecture and ancient religious sites.
(18 Days - Departs Daily on a Private Basis)
Delhi, Varanasi, Khajuraho, Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur, Ajanta & Ellora Caves, Mumbai
Day 1 – Arrive
Delhi Private arrival transfer to hotel for 2 nights.
Day 2 – Tour
Delhi Full-day private tour of Old & New Delhi.
Day 3 – Transfer & Tour
Varanasi Transfer and flight. Private arrival transfer to hotel for 2 nights.
Private city tour, excursion to Sarnath and private aarti ceremony.
Day 4 – Tour
Varanasi Full-day private tour.
Day 5 – Transfer & Tour
Khajuraho Transfer and flight. Private arrival transfer to hotel for 2 nights.
Private touring of temples.
Day 6 – Tour
Khajuraho Continue private touring of temples.
Day 7 – Transfer & Tour
Agra Transfer and flight to Delhi, then transfer by land to Agra for 2 nights.
Day 8 – Tour
Agra Full-day private tour of Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, artisan workshops and other attractions.
Day 9 – Transfer & Tour
Jaipur Private transfer to hotel for 2 nights.
Private tour of Fatehpur Sikri en route. Private afternoon touring and shopping.
Day 10 – Tour
Jaipur Full-day private tour, including elephant ride to Amber Fort.
Day 11 – Transfer & Tour
Udaipur Transfer to Udaipur for 3 nights, with touring en route.
Day 12 – Tour
Udaipur Full-day private tour.
Day 13 – Tour
Udaipur Private excursion to Jain Temples in Ranakpur or Juna Mahal in Dungarpur.
Day 14 – Transfer
Aurangabad Transfer and flights to Aurangabad.
Private arrival transfer to hotel for 2 nights.
Day 15 – Tour
Ajanta & Ellora Caves Full-day private tour of Ajanta & Ellora Caves.
Day 16 – Transfer & Tour
Transfer and flight to Mumbai (Bombay).
Private arrival transfer to hotel for 2 nights. Afternoon private city touring
Day 17 – Tour
Mumbai Full-day private tour, including boat ride to Elephanta Island.
Day 18 – Depart
Mumbai Private airport transfer.
Check In: 14:00h
Check Out: 12:00h
Make this your holiday
Getting There All major international airlines fly to India’s main airports: Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Airports tend to be on the outskirts of cities. Pre-paid taxi services and auto-rickshaws are stationed outside the terminus to get you into the city.
When to go The best time to travel to India is between September and March. This is a high season and it is advisable to book your holiday well in advance. Summer starts in April and by June, it becomes very hot. By July there is the south-west monsoon, which brings heavy rains to the west coast. September is a generally a clear month though later, between October and December there may be a reverse pattern called the north-east monsoon that appears in the Bay of Bengal, bringing rains to the east coast. The best time for trekking in the Indian Himalaya is between April and November but it varies from region to region and the altitude you are planning to reach.
Passport/Visa Visas are required to enter, exit or transit through Indian territories. The most common is a single entry 30-day visa. Multiple entry, 60-day and 90-day visas are also available. Passports must have a minimum of six months validity. Enquiries should be directed to the nearest Indian High Commission, embassy or consulate.
All visa applications in UK should be filled online at http://in.vfsglobal.co.uk. Cost of six months tourist visa for UK nationals including handling charges is £92.20.