Late night arrival, Meeting and assistance upon arrival as
our representatives welcome you and escort you to your van.
Whilst the room keys and check-in is organized, our representative
would introduce the tour to you and hand over the documents
Welcome to India, or as we say 'atithi devo bhava' (the guest
is an incarnation of God). Thank you for giving us the opportunity
to serve you!
Day 02: Delhi / Varanasi (Shivganga Express
- 1820 / 0700*)
After breakfast, we proceed on a guided tour of New Delhi,
Visiting such sights as Bahai Temple, Humayun's Tomb (1586),
the Qutab Minar 72 meters high and one of the most perfect
towers in the Persian world. The Iron Pillar which has survived
the vagaries of weather for over 1500 years. Continue with
a drive through Embassy area, the Government buildings (1921-1930)
and Connaught Place, the heart and main shopping district
of the capital.
We cross the city and into the walled gates of the Old Delhi.
The capital of Muslim India between the 17th and 19th centuries,
Old Delhi seems somewhat anachronistic as compared to New
Delhi. It draws one through congested roads and lanes, interesting
mosques, monuments and forts relating to its chequered history.
Our tour includes visits to the Jamma Mosque (1650) and drive
through the fabled area of Chandni Chowk (aptly translates
to Moonlight Square) where the throngs of shoppers and vendors
meet in the oldest area of Delhi, on to the Red Fort (1639-1648
built by Shah Jehan the builder of the Taj Mahal in Agra)
to view the inlaid and carved Royal Chambers, on to Raj Ghat
and nearby ghats where the founder of the nation, Mahatma
Gandhi and thereafter Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were
The highlight of this tour would be a ride on cycle rickshaws.
Now these are 3-wheel cycles with a sofa seat at the back.
The Rickshawalla (Rickshaw driver) sits on a small cushion
in the front and two passengers on the sofa seat behind. This
is a remarkable way to explore and picture the hustle and
bustle as well as the colour of the narrow winding streets
bursting with people and pavement shops selling wares of all
description - including a laughing set of dentures. The ride
would be accompanied by peals of laughter both from the passengers
as well as the onlookers.
Later in the evening drive to the Delhi Railway station to
board an overnight train to Varanasi.
Overnight: 1st Air-Conditioned Sleeper
Day 03: Arrival / Varanasi
Meeting and assistance upon arrival and transfer to your
Varanasi is quite possibly the world's oldest living city.
Religious artifacts link it to the sixth century BC Said to
be founded by Shiva, Varanasi's Vedic affiliation goes back
to the beginning of time. It is also a city of many names.
The present name, Varanasi (derived from the names of two
nearby rivers) is mentioned in the Mahabharata. The ancient
name is Kashi, the City of Light. To the devout it is also
called Kashika, the shining one, referring to the light of
Shiva. Many others prefer the anglicized Benares. Revered
by Hindus, Buddhists and Jain alike, Varanasi is considered
the holiest city in all of India. It is presided over by Shiva
in his manifestation as Vishwanatha, Lord of the Universe.
Buddha delivered a sermon in nearby Sarnath and Mahavira,
the founder of Jainism, lived in Varanasi. As a result, more
Indians will make a pilgrimage to Varanasi in their lifetime
than any other place.
After breakfast we proceed for the sightseeing tour. First
stop would be the Bharat Mata (temple of Mother India). Inaugurated
by Mahatma Gandhi, it features a huge marble map of India
on the ground floor. Next up, the Durga Temple. Known for
its bright red color and the playful, if sometimes aggressive,
monkeys that run amok there, the Durga Temple is one of the
most imposing architectural monuments in Varanasi.
The university, which occupies a large piece of land at the
southern end of town, is also home to the New Vishwanatha
Temple. The New Temple is modern in design and open to Hindus
and non-Hindus alike. Surrounded by palm trees, it is a splendid
white marble structure that shines in the afternoon sun against
a pale blue sky. Inside, the temple is spacious and airy.
The interior walls are covered with Vedic art above inscriptions
from the Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads. In the center of the
first floor is the Shiva linga.
This evening we take a short trip to the Buddhist city of
Sarnath .It is here that the Buddha preached his first sermons
after attaining enlightenment. The highlight of this tour
would be a participation in the evening prayer service (aarti)
of the main Buddhist temple here - the synchronized chanting
of himns to the accompaniment of traditional temple music
is a sole stirring experience.
Overnight at Hotel Clarks (Standard Room)
Day 04: Varanasi / Bodhgaya
At dawn we visit the sacred Ganges for a boat ride. Every
morning at dawn hundreds of worshippers can be seen bathing
in the sacred waters. The great river banks are lined with
an endless chain of stone steps-the ghats-that stretch from
one end of the city to the other. The Ghats form an impressive
part of the religious landscape of the city. Proceeding downstream
at a leisurely pace, you would be pointed out the significant
temples and buildings as well as the changing architectural
style. Life and death go hand in hand in Varanasi. While young
people seek prosperity and protection from harmful influences,
the older generation comes to Varanasi to cleanse their souls
in the forgiving waters in preparation for their ultimate
dissolution. Believing that anyone who dies in the river of
life in Varanasi gains freedom from the cycle of birth and
death, the City of Light has become a haven for the sick and
aged waiting out their final days. The smoke that billows
from the crematoriums on the edge of the river gives testimony
to their final release from life's earthly confines. We would
docked our boat at Manikarnika (Cremation) Ghat. On any given
day, anywhere from a few dozen to a few hundred corpses are
cremated here, The ghat is assiduous with activity as the
cremated bodies threw up smoke and fire.
Later we drive to Bodhgaya. Upon arrival check into your
Hotel Taj Darbur
Overnight at Taj Darbur (Standard Room)
Day 05: Bodhgaya
Full day touring of Bodhgaya. One of the holiest of holy
pilgrim places for the Buddhists of the world is Mahabodhi
Temple at Bodh Gaya The Mahabodhi Temple built on the east
of the sacred tree stands majestically 170 feet high on a
base 50 feet square, and consists of a soaring pyramidal tower
surmounted by a stupa. The Vajrasan or Diamond Throne lying
between the Bodhi Tree and the temple marks the actual spot
where Buddha sat in meditation and attained supreme knowledge.
A gilded Buddha smiles upon the visitors from a niche in the
wall of the temple, and his footsteps carved in stone hold
flower offerings from the devout. Unbelievable peace pervades
the atmosphere giving credence to legend
Besides the Mahabodhi temple, we would visit several Buddhist
temples built by the followers of Buddhism from all over the
Overnight at Taj Darbur (Standard Room)
Day 06: Bodhgaya / Rajgir / Nalanda / Patna
Patna / Delhi (Magadh Exp: 1850/1145 hrs)
Morning we drive to Patna en-route we visit Rajgir &
Rajgir is a verdant valley surrounded by rocky hills. Here
on Griddhakuta or Vultures Peak the Buddha set in motion his
second Wheel of Law and for three months every year during
the rainy season preached many inspiring sermons to his disciples.
The Buddha Sangha of Japan have constructed a massive modern
stupa, the Shanti (peace) stupa at the top of the hill in
commemoration. The view from the top is breathtaking. One
can climb up to the top along a bridle path. However, the
aerial chairlift is far more exciting.
Twelve kilometres from Rajgir is Nalanda which was in Buddha's
time a lovely resort of Saints and ascetics. Lord Buddha visited
Nalanda several times and delivered some important sermons.
It emerged as a university in the 5th century A.D. and remained
the greatest seat of learning for 700 years. Great thinkers
like Nagarjuna, the Mahayana Buddhist Philosopher. Dharmapala
the Brahman scholar, Aryadeva, and Padmasambhava taught here.
After sightseeing we drive to Patna Train Station in time
to board overnight train for Delhi.
Overnight: 1st Air-conditioned Sleeper
Day 07: Arrival / Delhi
Delhi / Departure
Meeting and assistance on arrival in Delhi and transfer to
the hotel, The Connaught where a day use room is booked for
Rest of the day is at leisure for your independent activities
Delhi today is truly the melting pot of India, and the main
gateway to one of the most fascinating cities in the world.
Your Hotel in Delhi is a Downtown Hotel - The Connaught Place
is the heart and pulse of New Delhi. This Hotel will give
you an opportunity to view the busy streets and bazaars of
the capital of India. In other words, you will 'feel' India.
Late night transfer to the International airport in time
to board flight back home.
Includes: Accommodation on Twin Sharing Basis; Daily
buffet breakfast basis; Transport in an air-conditioned private
car; Services of Guides for Sightseeing tours; Train Travel
in Second Air Condition Sleeper Coach
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