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Fairs & Festival Tour in India

FESTIVAL TOUR SUGGESTION # 6

Best during Period : March

Duration :
18 nights / 19 days

Cities covered :
Delhi - Khajuraho - Varanasi - Lucknow - Agra - Bharatpur - Jaipur - Udaipur - Delhi.

Colorful festivals covered :
The Dance Festival at Khajuraho (25th Feb - 2nd March '08)
-  The Elephant Festival at Jaipur (21st March '08)
-  Holi,  Festival of Colors celebrations at Udaipur (22nd March '08)

Highlights :
The best of North India at festival time.  View the Golden Triangle, Khajuraho, Varanasi, Lucknow and Rajasthan while you enjoy the explosion of color and festivity. 
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[These Festival Tour Programs are best run with minimum 6 travelers to a group & more]

Day 1 - ARRIVE DELHI
The romance and colour of India greets you as you disembark from your Jet in Delhi-India’s splendid capital. Founded on the sight of several cities it has been the seat of power for centuries. Today Old and New city combine to present a harmonious whole offering the traveler elegant shops, broad laburnum lines avenues, sunwarmed elegant forts and mosques that were once stronghold of Mughal powers and colourful bazaars. Our representative escorts you to the hotel. Overnight at hotel.

Day 2 - DELHI
This morning you will start sightseeing tour of Old and New Delhi. Red Fort with its majestic ramparts and Jama Masjid one of the Asia’s Largest mosques from the hub. You will also make a stop at Rajghat-Mahatma Gandhi’s final resting place. Emperor Humayun’s Tomb and Qutub Minar complex, dating back to the 12th century.

New Delhi is well planned with wide tree lined avenues, fountains and parks. Colonial architecture dominates this part of the city, you will drive along the ceremonial avenues of Rajpath and view the splendid Presidential Palace, the circular Parliament House and impressive diplomatic enclave. Overnight at hotel.

Day 3 – DELHI / KHAJURAHO
This morning transfer to airport to board flight for Khajuraho-remarkable 11th century temples constantly amaze visitors.
Our representative escorts you to the hotel.

This afternoon visit the Western group of temples. The largest temple is Kandariya Mahadev, dedicated to Lord Shiva. In the Western group lies the Chaunsat Yogini temple. Other noteworthy temples are Viswanathan. Lakshmana, Varaha and Chitragupta temple.

Evening witness THE KHAJURAHO DANCE FESTIVAL
As dusk falls over the ancient Chandela shrines of Khajuraho, the stillness is suddenly pierced by the sound of Ghungroos and the staccato beat of the tabla.

Once again the Khajuraho festival of Dances begins amidst the famous temples to create for the audience, the most spectacular and exhilarating culture experience of the year. This unique and exciting experiment which was started a few years ago in Madhya Pradesh, today attracts people from all over the world, to witness and to be a part of a continuous seven days extravaganza of classical dance by the most accomplished artists in the country.

The just a position of the dancers with the ancient temple background is a means of spiritual communion, which is experienced not only by the performers but by the audience as well. Overnight at hotel.

Day 4 - KHAJURAHO
This morning you visit Eastern group of temples. The Eastern group of temples can be subdivided into two groups. The first made up of interesting Jain temples in the walled enclosure. The other four temples are scattered through the small village of Khajuraho.
Visit the Jain Museum, Parsvantha, Adinath, Shanti Nath and Vamana temples.
This evening you again witness the KHAJURAHO DANCE FESTIVAL.
Overnight at hotel.

Day 5 - KHAJURAHO
This morning you visit Southern group of temples and see Duladeo Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Apsara and ornamented figures. Chaturbhuj Temple, this temple has a massive, intricately carved, image of Vishnu in the sanctum.
Evening explore the colourful activities at the Khajuraho Dance Festival.
Overnight at hotel.

Day 6 – KHAJURAHO / VARANASI
This morning take a short flight for Varanasi - The religious capital of Hinduism since times immemorial. A place of devotion and worship, with hundreds of temples dotting the city. Many Hindus in the latter part of their lives wish to spend their retirement here.

Varanasi is a city that cannot be described, only experienced. Sunrise on the river front, as seen from the boat, can be a spiritually uplifting sight. Crowded with temples, and its labyrinth of streets thronged by the curious and the devout.
Our representative escorts you to the hotel.
Afternoon visit Sarnath - at a distance of 10 Kms from Varanasi where Lord Buddha preached his first sermon after Enlightenment. Here he revealed the eight - fold path, the Buddhist doctrine. Overnight at hotel.

Day 7 - VARANASI
Early morning drive through the city to the Ghats (stone - steps) on the banks of the river, then embark on a boat excursion on the Ganges. At dawn multitudes of pilgrims descend to the holy waters to perform the ritual immersion and prayers at the Ghats.

Witnessing this spectacle of the practice of religion, unchanged over thousands of years, in one of the most extraordinary experience of a visit to India. also see the 18th century observatory and the Nepalese Temple.

Thereafter city tour visiting Bharat Mata Temple which houses one of the most perfect relief maps of India carved out of marble, the Durga temple and Tulsi Manas Mandir. Drive past Banaras Hindu University, which has an Art Gallery, and the Mosque of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb built on the site of the ancient Hindu temple, and the gold spired temple of Vishwanath.

Later visit the shops selling fabulous silks and brocades in the bazaars reached through narrow lanes.

“EVENING VISIT AMRIT RAO PESHWA GHAT TO WITNESS DEVOTES PERFORMING THE “ GANGA AARTI” WHICH CULMINATES IN PLACING TINY LAMPS OR DIYAS ON FRAGILE LEAVES AND FLOATING THEM IN THE SHIMMERING WATERS OF THE GANGA. AS THE SUNSETS, A SPECIALLY ARRANGED CULTURAL FEAST OF DANCES AND MUSIC FOLLOWS”
Overnight at hotel.

Day 8 – VARANASI / LUCKNOW
This morning depart for Lucknow - there is no city where it is so simple to turn back the pages of history and look into the colourful days of Nawabs and Begums, through the eyes of those who claimed to have the personal knowledge of court and customs.
On arrival check in at hotel. Late in the afternoon, visit state Museum by Tonga, located in the Prince of Wales Park, established in 1963, the museum displays a fascinating collection of Avadh works art.
Overnight at hotel.

Day 9 - LUCKNOW
This morning you visit the Bara Imambara built in 1784, it ranks as one of the greatest architectural achievements of the Muslim period in India. The central hall is said to be among the largest caulted chambers of its kind in the world and does not have a single beam to support it, but a complex of arched corridors that surround the three-storied structure from the first floor upto the top secret labyrinth called Bhul Bhulaiyan.

Rumi Darwaza, located west of Bara Imambara is a 60 feet high gate, believed to be a copy of the gate of Constantipole in Turnkey.

Husainabad Imambara a mausoleum built by Mohammed Ali shah in 1837-42, it contains the tomb of Nawab’s daughter and her husband. The main building is domed structure with exquisite turrets and minarets.

The interior is lavishly decorated with large collection of Chandeliers, tinted mirrors and colourful tazias, picture gallery contains life size portrait paintings of the Nawabs of Avadh. Also visit clock tower and Jama Masjid.

Afternoon visit Chowk market to see the craftsman doing Zardozi or gold thread embroidery on silk or cotton. A stroll through the Chowk market which is the main trading centre for Chikan embroidery. Besides dresses, one could shop for table linen and scraves.

Evening Sham-e-Avadh or traditional Avadhi dinner that gives a taste of the variety of Lucknawi cuisine. The highlight of the evening will be a Kathak dance performance.
Overnight at hotel.

Day 10 - LUCKNOW
This morning explore the city on your own.
Afternoon transfer to Railway Station to board the Shatabdi express train for Delhi.
Arrive Delhi and our representative escorts you to the Hotel. Overnight at hotel.

Day 11 – DELHI / AGRA
Depart for Agra by coach-Synonymous with the timeless beauty of the Taj Mahal - radiant at noon and Amber at dusk.
Arrive and check in at hotel. Overnight at hotel.

Day 12 - AGRA
This morning you visit the worlds greatest love tribute. The Taj Mahal built by Emperor Shahjahan for his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal.

Mark Twain said of this monument “You cannot keep your emotions within bounds, when that soaring bubble of marble breaks upon your view” Taj Mahal is like a silent rhapsody that you will carry in your heart. You will also visit Agra Fort, an impressive cluster of palaces, fortresses and mosques on the banks of river Yamuna across the Taj Mahal.

Evening visit Taj in one of the best moods. The white marble looks like a gleaming silver in the moonlight. A sight which you will cherish and hold close to your hearts for the rest of your life. Overnight at hotel.

Day 13 – AGRA / BHARATPUR
This morning you depart for Bharatpur bird sanctuary by coach, often referred to as a bird paradise, the Keoladeo national park at Bharatpur has as many as 350 species of birds in an area of just 29 sq. km.

Bharatpur is the nesting ground of over 120 species of birds. But more important it receives winter migrants from central Asia and Siberia, many of whom travel as far as 6400 km to reach this wetland reserve.

By October, the migration has begun and thousands of birds descend on Bharatpur. The most eagerly awaited are the winter visitors - the rare Siberian Crane which return here annually in spite of the ecological destruction enroute on the migration path. During the winter month, large heronries are established and a loud repertoire of bird calls replaces the serenity of Summer.

It is said that 2,000 painted storks breed in an area of just 2.5 sq. km.
The bet time to see birds at Bharatpur is early morning or late evening. A mettaled road runs into the park and visitors can hire bicycles or cycle rickshaws from the entry point. the bird life consists of great and little cormorants, egrets, herons, painted stork open billed stork, spoonbill, ibis, Dalmatian pelican, common honey buzzard. In the Mammals - Wild Boar, Sambar, Chital, Blackbuck, Jackals and Hyenas.

Arrive and check in at HOTEL LAXMI VILAS PALACE - set amidst 40 acres of picturesquely landscape environs, Laxmi Vilas Palace was built in 1899. A lively fusion of traditional Rajasthani architecture and the prevalent Mughal style, this palace with its regal ambience, sunny courtyards and enchanting cupolas will mesmerize you. Spacious and airy rooms open out onto the inner courtyard with its marble fountain.

The rooms are enchantingly adorned with colourful frescoes, traditional furniture and antique lamps, reminding the guest of the splendid lifestyle of a bygone era.
Later in the afternoon explore the bird sanctuary by Rickshaw. Overnight at Palace.

Day 14 – BHARATPUR / JAIPUR
Early morning visit the bird sanctuary and explore bird life by boat.
Afternoon depart for Jaipur - gateway to Rajasthan and a city ablaze with colour when latticed rose - pink monuments fight with brilliantly turbaned men and vividly costumed women for attention.
Arrive and check in at hotel. Overnight at hotel.

Day 15 - JAIPUR
Morning visit to ELEPHANT FESTIVAL - this is the only festival in Rajasthan, where so many Jumbos are seen running, playing polo and of course throwing colour on each other with their trunks.

The Mahawats or owners proudly decorate their Elephants with bright colours, jhools & heavy jewellery and even made them wear payals or the anklets. You will also witness numerous competitions which include Elephant races, best decorated Elephant.

This afternoon you visit the City Palace, a picturesque complex of palaces and courtyards famous for its collection of Rajput miniatures, carpets and manuscripts. You also visit the exquisite Palace of Winds with its honeycombed facade and 18th century Observatory. Overnight at hotel.

Day 16 - JAIPUR
Morning visit ELEPHANT FESTIVAL
Later in the afternoon start with an excursion to Amber Fort, you ride up the ramp of this 11th century bastion atop a gaily decorated Elephant. Later visit City Palace, a picturesque complex of palaces and courtyards famous for its collection of Rajput miniatures, carpets and manuscripts. You also visit the exquisite Palace of Winds with its honeycombed facade and 18th century Observatory.

Later time free for shopping. Jaipur is a major gems and jewellery centre where one can find some of the finest jewellery besides woolen and carpets, hand block printed Sanganeri and Bagru cotton fabrics.

"EVENING WITNESS PUPPET SHOW PUPPETEERS NARRATE LOCAL LEGENDS AND TRADITIONAL FOLKLORE WITH A COMIC TWIST."
Overnight at hotel.

Day 17 - JAIPUR
This morning take a short flight for Udaipur - a beautiful city of lakes, palaces and fountains still evoking the rich sensibilities of a royal lineage long gone by, leaving only this dreamy city to continue forever.

Our representative escorts you to hotel.
This afternoon visit to City Palace now a museum, completely white and majestic, the Royal Palace stands on a hill. Surrounded by crenellated walls. It is a labyrinth of courtyards richly decorated with inland mirror work, galleries covered with frescoes, temples and kiosks.

In the old town the Jagdish temple built in mid 17th century has remarkable bronze statue. Visit the exquisitely fashioned Sahelion - Ki - Bari or garden of maids of honour with fountains, a lotus pond Chhatris & Kiosks of black marble.
Overnight at hotel.

Day 18 - UDIAPUR
This morning the colours of HOLI FESTIVAL WILL GREET YOU
In the past, when royalty ruled in grandeur. Where festivals were an auspicious time for the celebrations and traditional unfolded in elaborate ceremonies and rituals to mark the occasion.

Travel back in time, in Udaipur. Let the colours of history reflect the hues of Indian culture. Still, an integral part of the soil of Rajasthan where HOLI heralds the harvest season, a time to reap the fruits of labour and bid farewell to the hard months of winter. Where colours, rich and varied shine forth keeping India's glorious past alive in the present.

Enjoy the Spring festival of colours in Udaipur as you mingle with the locals and glimpse royalty from close. Witness a magnificent palace procession that departs from the age old royal residence to the family temple to culminate in all its splendour at the City Palace. This is the time to view local nobility in their traditional attire, the finely liveried palace staff, elegantly bedecked horses and the impeccably tuned band that lead the regal procession through the streets.

Proud. Every inch royal, the head of the House of Mewar carries the family deity in a silver palanquin on his stately shoulders, to perform rituals in accordance with ancient vedic heritage. And mark the solemnity, the religious ceremonies, you can settle down in the fading twilight to the lightning of the traditional sacred fire or the burning of the Holika which signifies the triumph of good over evil.

This is followed by the haunting melodies and rhythmic beat of local people performing Gair dance with festive abandon, infecting the gathering with their enthusiastic performance. Setting the ,odd of the invites to attend the reception in the Zenana Mahal, in the City Palace lasting well into the night.
Overnight at hotel.

Day 19 - UDAIPUR
This morning brings along more excitement for you in all the colours of the rainbow. Play Holi in the traditional way as India dowse by colouring your family friends, neighbors and yourself in delightful hues. After all what could be more enjoyable !

Here is the chance to indulge yourself in local festivities that promise to permeate your senses with its exotic touch. Its warmth its traditions and its richness. Evening you will take a short flight for Delhi. Our representative escorts you to the hotel. Overnight at hotel.

Day 20 - DEPART DELHI
Your India experience comes to an end as you are transferred to the International airport to board your homeward bound flight.

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