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Expedition At A Glance

8 days, 7 nights

Difficulty Level: 1

Price (US$): From $2,795.00

Months Available: October through March

OVERVIEW


Mystical North India

Arriving in North India, you step into the history and mystery of a land whose culture goes back thousands of years. With a potent blend of the stunning and the sacred, the experience will stimulate your senses and touch your soul. This trip offers you the opportunity to experience authentic India, while staying at some of the finest heritage hotels in this rich and varied land.

Begin in Delhi and experience the spectacular Golden Triangle – Delhi, Jaipur and Agra – but throw in a must-see visit to Varanasi, and this trip is a perfect introduction to this rapturous country. See Jaipur, the Pink City, and witness the town’s amazing transformation at sunset. Experience the grandeur and perfection of the Taj Mahal. Honor sacred life on the Ganges River at Varanasi, India’s spiritual capital. Trace Buddhism back to its roots at Sarnath where Gautama Buddha learned and shared his teachings. Travel through time as you witness time-honored silk production techniques and attend an Aarti ceremony, in which lamps are lit in devotion to the deities . This is a journey not to be missed!

Highlights:

 

  • Experience one of the most revered and recognized structures in the world. According to Lord Curzon, “Without flaw or blemish, impossible to criticize, it is the most perfect structure in the world.”
  • Savor life on the Ganges River at Varanasi, and experience the most spiritually electric city in the world.
  • Visit the epic, gorgeous Amber Fort at Jaipur.

DETAILED ITINERARY


Day 01 - Delhi Welcome to Delhi, the capital city of India. Enjoy your free afternoon to explore. (No meals). Overnight: Deluxe - Taj Palace or similar; Standard - The Hans Day 02 - Delhi to Jaipur In the morning we’ll make our way by train towards Jaipur, the fascinating "Pink City.” Jaipur is surrounded on all sides by rugged hills, crowned with forts & enclosed by embattled walls. it thrills travelers with its massive forts, magnificent palaces, exquisite temples and lush gardens. We’ll explore the magnificent City Palace complex with its many museums containing an impressive collection of miniature paintings, costumes and armory; the unique Jantar Mantar (Observatory) built by the astronomer king, Maharaja Jai Singh II, and the Palace of the Wind with its intriguing façade. Houses with latticed windows line the streets with their rose pink color making Jaipur at sunset a sight to behold. (Breakfast) Overnight: Deluxe - Jai Mahal Palace; Standard - Aissar Haveli Day 03 - Jaipur This morning, we’ll travel a short distance to the Amber Palace. Amber was the ancient capital of Jaipur, and construction of the fort began in 1592. It is a superb example of Rajput architecture. Elephant ride from the foothills of the Aravallis to the fort entrance. After lunch, enjoy the afternoon to explore the magical Old City of Jaipur on your own. (Breakfast) Overnight: Deluxe - Jai Mahal Palace; Standard - Aissar Haveli Day 04 - Agra via Fatehpur Sikri Departing for Agra, we will stop at Fatehpur Sikri, the deserted, red Sandstone City that Emperor Akbar built as his capital and palace in the late 16th century. It a veritable fairytale city and its "ruins" are in pristine condition, making it easy to imagine what the court life must have been like in the days of its grandeur. Also visit the Buland Darwaza, the largest gateway in the world. In the evening we’ll make our way towards Agra, home of the majestic Taj Mahal. (Breakfast) Overnight: Deluxe - The Gateway; Standard - Utkarsh Vilas Day 05 - Agra to Delhi Badal Singh established the city of Taj, now Agra, in 1475. Today whatever remains, has become a major tourist attraction, which has taken Agra again to the heights of glory but this time as the major tourist destination of India. We will visit the inexpressible Taj Mahal, a pristine white marble mausoleum built by Emperor Shah Jahan as a tribute to his deceased wife. One of the Seven Wonders of the World, it took 20,000 workers from neighboring Islamic countries, 22 years of ceaseless toil to create this exquisite white marble monument upon which people have waxed eloquent throughout the world. Lord Curzon says of it, “Without flaw or blemish, the most perfect structure in the world.” We’ll spend the day exploring the perfection of this World Heritage Site, and depart in the evening for a quick overnight in Delhi. (Breakfast) Overnight: Deluxe - Taj Palace or similar; Standard - The Hans Day 06 - Delhi to Varanasi One of the oldest continuously inhabited cities of the world, Varanasi is sacred to Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. We’ll visit the Durga Temple, also known as the "monkey temple", which was built in the 18th century and is one of the most important Hindu temples in Varanasi. In the evening, witness the beautiful evening ‘aarti’ and prayer oil-lamp ceremony at the ghats, which seem to have existed since time immemorial. As hundreds of lit earthenware lamps and flowers are sent floating down the Ganges, the river is transformed into a shimmering expanse of light. Varanasi is also famous for its Banarasi silk sarees and we will visit a factory and see where they are woven. Tonight we’ll visit a local home to see in-home silk weaving and soak up some local customs, culture and hospitality. (Breakfast) Overnight: Deluxe - The Gateway; Standard - Ganges View Day 07 - Saranath to Delhi Early morning a serene experience begins as we take a sunrise cruise on the River Ganges, a sensory experience that words can not describe. We will then travel a short distance to Sarnath, the place where Buddha chose to deliver his first sermon and one of the most venerated Buddhist sites in the world. There are Buddha relics and also a vast expanse of ancient ruins at Sarnath. Several Buddhist structures were raised at Sarnath between the 3rd century BC and the 11th century AD, and today it presents the most expansive ruins amongst places on the Buddhist trail. This afternoon, we’ll fly to Delhi. (Breakfast) Overnight: Deluxe - Taj Palace or similar; Standard - The Hans Day 08 - Departure A major cultural, political and commercial center of India, Delhi is the capital city of India. Thriving, bustling and chaotic, it never ceases to excite. We’ll visit some of Delhi’s highlights including Red Fort, once the most opulent fort and palace of the Moghul Empire and Jama Masjid, the government headquarters. In the afternoon, we’ll visit one of India’s most revered fabric shops and leave some time for last minute shopping before we say goodbye to North India. (Breakfast)

PHOTO AND VIDEO GALLERY


COST AND INCLUSIONS


Per person price for 2016 Deluxe accommodations (5 star and boutique hotels): 2 to 3 people: $3,895 USD per person 4 or more: $3,595 USD per person Single Supplement: $1,250 USD Standard accommodations (3 and 4 star hotels): 2 to 3 people: $2,995 USD per person 4 or more: $2,795 USD per person Single Supplement: $850 USD (Final prices may vary depending on hotels selected/available. A small December and January peak season surcharge may apply) Price includes:
  • All airport transfers
  • Sightseeing as indicated in the itinerary; all entrance fees
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Twin-sharing accommodation in deluxe or standard hotels
  • Transfers by private air-conditioned vehicles
Price does not include:
  • Your international airfare
  • India visa fee (must be obtained prior to arrival in India)
  • International airport tax
  • Travel Insurance
  • Bottled/canned beverages including soft drinks, alcoholic beverages and mineral water
  • Tips and gratuities, and expenses of personal nature

DATES AND AVAILABILITY


Daily private departures. A trip can be arranged for two or more participants for a date of your choosing.

BOOK THIS TRIP


 

“Dianna and I wanted to end our Grand Asian Journey with some notes to you in the event they are of value for other customers. First, the whole process works really well....working with you in the U.S. and the meeting you had with us before we left to give us all your tips.  Also, the whole process of our personal handlers, drivers and tour guides is amazing (albeit some are better than others).  We only had one little snag where one of the handlers waited for us at the wrong train car so we were stuck about 10 minutes wondering if we were ever going to get to the right place.

A couple things that traveler's might want to consider packing: - a scarf/handkerchief for your head for temples in Dehli. - closed-toed slippers or socks for temples in Dehli. Thanks for all your help and please pass on to your contacts in India how pleased we were. Overall we were very happy with our trip experience and we thank you for your efforts in making it successful.”

-Scott Peterson., Bellevue, WA: North India 2015

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