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Spiritual & Religious Tours

SUGGESTED PROGRAM FOR SPIRITUAL & RELIGIOUS TOURS:

SEEKING THE SIKH GURU

Duration  : 17 nights / 18 days

Cities
covered : Delhi - Amritsar - Ludhiana - Chandigarh - Delhi - Aurangabad - Udaipur - Jaipur - Agra - Delhi - Patna - Delhi

Highlights
: This tour goes to the important religious places scattered in the West and North of India and have been since long associated with the simple beliefs of Sikhs. The tour group is accompanied by a deeply religious Sikh person of repute for the easy understanding of Sikh religious teachings.
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[Best suitable for minimum 6 travelers]

Day 1 - DELHI
Arrive Delhi. Meeting and transfer to Hotel Le Meridien.
Overnight at hotel.

Day 2 - DELHI
Early morning visit Bangla Sahib Gurudwara- dedicated to the 8th guru- Hari Krishan.
Guru Hari Krishan, the boy prophet, became the eight Guru of the Sikhs on October 6,1661 A.D. During the short period of this pontificate he guided the Sikh s community with great tact and wisdom in the face of threatening challenges. He sent missionaries to the farthest outpost of the country and inspired the seekers who came to him with eternal truth and the highest mystical and spiritual experiences. Raja Jai Singh dedicated his palace to his sacred memory and since his death it has been the place of worship of the Sikhs and known as Bangla Sahib.

Thereafter visit Gurudwara Rakab Ganj dedicated to Guru Tegh Bahadur - When Guru Tegh Bahadur was beheaded in Chandni Chowk, the lamenting and wailing crowd surged forward to have a closer look at the martyred prophet, a man named Bhai Jaita, rushed out of the crowd, and with lighting flash picked up the head of the guru and disappeared into the grief stricken crowd.

They carried away the body of Guru Tegh Bahadur to their residence, the present sight of Rakab Ganj Gurudwara opposite Parliament building, they reverently on a pile of sandalwood and set to fire the whole house. They put the remains of the Guru in an urn and buried it on the very spot where the body was cremated. The head of the guru was taken by his disciple Bhai Jaita to Anandpur where Guru Gobind Singh cremated it near the place where the Guru used to meditate in a cell. The place is also known as Sis Ganj of Anandpur.

Lunch at Gurudwara- all Sikh Temples have a community kitchen and in this one volunteers prepare free meals for thousand of people every day, served to all pilgrims, participants and visitors irrespective of their nationality, creed or caste.

The food is very basic Chapatis and lentils but it’s all prepared and dished out in a surprisingly orderly fashion.
After lunch visit Gurudwara Sis Ganj - dedicated to Guru Tegh Bahadur.

Guru Tegh Bahadur was born in the holy city of Amritsar on April, 1621. He was the fifth and the youngest son of sixth prophet, Guru Hargobind, and the only one to deservedly ascend the pontiff throne nearly 20 years after his father’s death as Ninth Guru of the Sikhs. He was a great lover of poetry and peace, music and meditation, charity and human freedom. Thereafter visit Majnu Ka Tilla Shrine-dedicated to Guru Nanak. On the banks of Jamuna River, there lived in Delhi a Muslim Sufi (dervish) who led the life of penitent recluse. So lonely and god-intoxicated was he that he was nicknamed Majnu, the mad lover. When he met Guru Nanak, he felt that he was in the presence of a prophet who had imparted to him a new revelation.

He felt spiritually exalted and illumined, and the light of God was revealed to him in his soul. Guru Nanak had many Muslim disciples in Punjab but Majnu was his first Muslim disciple in Delhi, who not only became his outstanding devotee but a great missionary who converted his khanqah into Shrine of Guru Nanak, which continued to be known after his name as Majnu Ka Tilla to this day.
Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 3 – DELHI / AMRITSAR
Early morning visit Nanak Piyao Gurudwara. Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, gave to the world a new faith, a new dispensation, which was neither Hinduism nor Islam in its doctrine and spiritual content. Basing the new faith on his inspired vision of God and on his own response to the human and political situation of his times, he organised a distinct Church and gave to it a unique religious, social and cultural structure.

His nine successors gave a new scripture, the Adi Guru Granth, new religious, cultural and political institutions in the moral and spiritual framework of Guru Nanak’s dynamic ideals. Establishing the nucleus of his faith in Punjab, Guru Nanak went on long missionary journeys to the East in Assam and Bengal, to the South in Lanka, and to the North in Tibet, and to the West reaching Mecca, Medina and other religious centres of the Middle East.

Thereafter visit the sights of Old and New Delhi.
New Delhi : see the 12th century Qutub Minar, gracefully fluted and hand carved for its entire height of 234 feet, nearby stands the iron pillar which has withstood the ravages of time and not rusted in 1500 years. Visit the graceful mausoleum of the Mughal Emperor Humayun and the Mughal Emperor Humayun and the modern Birla temple. Drive past India Gate (War Memorial), President’s house which was once the Victory’s palace, Parliament House and Secretariat buildings, an interesting blend of Victorian and 20th century architecture.

Old Delhi: Drive past the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi to India’s largest mosque Jama Masjid, built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century. Nearby is Chandni Chowk, once an imperial avenue down which Shah Jahan rode at the head of lavish cavalcades. Then view the massive walls and ramparts of the magnificent Red fort, symbol of Mughal power & elegance, built in 1648.
Return to Hotel. Time at leisure till transfer to railway station to board the train for Amritsar.
Depart Delhi
Arrive Amritsar
Meeting and transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.

Day 4 - AMRITSAR
Morning visit the Harminder Sahib popularly known as The Golden Temple, the holiest Shrine of the Sikh religion.

The rulers of Punjab, Maharaja Ranjit Singh got the lower half of the temple, originally built by Guru Arjun dev in the midst of the Sacred pool, covered with marble and the upper half with copper plated with pure gold leaves, hence, the popularly named Golden Temple.

The Temple has four entrances opening to the four directions significant that all people are welcome. The form and architecture of the Temple combine a sense of peace, grace and beauty. Spent the entire morning at the golden Temple visit :

HAR MANDIR: Standing in the middle of the Sacred Pool, the golden Temple is a two storey marble structure reached by cause way known as the Gurus Bridge.

The lower parts of the marble walls are decorated with inlaid flower and animal motifs in the pietra dura style of the Taj Mahal.

GRANTH SHAHIB : Four priests at Key positions around the temple keep up a continuos reading in Punjabi from the Sikh’s Holy Book that is broadcast by loud speaker. The original copy of the Granth Sahib is kept under a pink shroud in the Golden Temple during the day and around 10 PM each evening is ceremoniously returned to the Akal Takhat.
The morning processional ceremony takes place at 0400 hrs in the Summer and 0500 hrs in Winter.

SIKH MUSEUM: The central Sikh museum is upstairs in the clock tower and comprises a gallery of paintings telling the story of the Sikhs and their martyrs.

AKAL TAKHT : Adjacent to the Golden Temple is the marble-paved square in which stands the Akal Takht (Immortal Throne). Established by the sixth Sikh Guru, Guru Hargobind, this is the supreme seat of the Sikh religious authority. The Akal Takht is also the repository of the various weapons used by the Gurus.
Later feast yourself to the Langer.

Afternoon visit the Govindwal Sahib 30 kms South East of Amritsar which houses a fine Gurudwara, enroute visiting Taran-Taran : is an important Sikh tank. There’s a temple , which is designed in Sikh architectural style, with a dome covered with goldfoils, which predates Amritsar, and a tower on the east side of the tank , which was also constructed by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. It’s said that any leper who can swim across the tank will be miraculously cured.
Return to Amritsar and overnight stay at hotel.

Day 5 – AMRITSAR / LUDHIANA
Early morning depart for Muktsar - a small town, 70 kms from Faridkot, it is an important pilgrimage centre- Gurudwara Shahidganj was built in the memory of the forty Muktas, or martyrs. Thereafter proceed for Bhatinda- Steeped in history, Bhatinda is one of the oldest towns in Punjab. Its 11th century fort saw the fortunes of many a chieftain fall and rise. India’s first women ruler, the ill-fated Razia sultan (1236-1240), was imprisoned in the Bhatinda fort by her enemies before her execution.

Today, Bhatinda is a leading food grain and cotton centre. Thirty-five kilometre South of Bhatinda is Dam Dama Sahib, an important pilgrimage centre associated with Guru Gobind Singh. Langer at Gurudwara. Thereafter depart for Ludhiana arrive and check-in at hotel. Overnight at hotel.

Day 6 – LUDHIANA / CHANDIGARH
Morning depart for Chandigarh by surface, enroute visit Gurudwara Charan Kamal in the village of Maehli Wara 46 kms away and Manji Sahib 11 kms away, both are sacred spots for Sikhs. Proceed to Sirhind - standing amidst the ruins of beautiful mosques and tombs, Sirhind was an important city during the Mughal period visit Fatehgarh Sahib Gurudwara.

The Fatehgarh Sahib Gurudwara marks the spot where Guru Gobind Singh’s younger sons were bricked alive. Not far from the Gurudwara is the Rauza Sharif of Hazrat Mujaddid-alf-i-Sani.

To the South-East of the city is Aam Khas Bagh, a carvan serai of the Mughal emperors. This place is also the sight of extensive archaeological interest.
Langer at Gurudawara, thereafter depart for Chandigarh and check in at hotel.
Overnight at hotel.

Day 7 - CHANDIGARH
Morning visit Anandpur Sahib - 77 kms away . Anandpur Sahib, the abode of peace has a number of historical Gurudwaras. It was here the tenth and the last Sikh Guru Govind Singh, gave the Sikhs a new form of identity by baptising the Khalsa, the pure ones. On the day following Holi, devotees flock to Anandpur Sahib to participate in the Hola Mohlla celebrations re-enchanting past Sikh battles with ancient arms and weapons.

Langar at Gurudwara. After lunch visit the worlds highest straight gravity Dam Bakhra Nangal. Return to Chandigarh for overnight stay at hotel.

Day 8 - CHANDIGARH
Full day excursion Paonta Sahib: Situated on the Yamuna river, on the border with Uttar Pradesh, Paonta Sahib is linked with Gobind Singh, the 10th of the Gurus who lived here. At Bangani, 23 kms away, he achieved a great military victory when his forces defeated the combined might of 22 hill country kingdoms. His weapons are displayed in the town and his Gurudawara still over- looks the river.

The historic Gurudwaras commemorates his stay and interestingly the waters of the Yamuna fall silent below this - which happened at the Guru’s behest . The word Paonta means a space for a foot hold.
Return to Chandigarh for overnight stay.

Day 9 – CHANDIGARH / DELHI
Later in the morning transfer to railway station to board the Shatabdi Express for Delhi.
Depart Chandigarh
Arrive Delhi
Meeting and transfer to hotel.
Overnight at hotel.

Day 10 – DELHI / AURANGABAD
Meeting and transfer to airport to board flight for Aurangabad
Depart Delhi
Arrive Aurangabad

Meeting and transfer to hotel. Afternoon excursion to Ellora caves consists of temples and monasteries hewn from rock by Buddhist, Hindu and Jain monks and crafts-men. They tell the story of the evolution of three Religions. Over 2000 years old, they have been compared to the Pyramids for their amazing construction, sculptors and frescoes. the most marvellous of all is the stupendous rock temple of Kailash.
Overnight at hotel.

Day 11 - AURANGABAD
Full day excursion to Nanded (213 kms one-way) Nanded is a pilgrim point for the Sikhs as it has a Samadhi of Guru Gobind Singh known as Hazoor Sahib
Return to Aurangabad for overnight stay.

Day 12 - AURANGABAD
Morning transfer to airport to board flight for Udaipur.
Depart Aurangabad
Arrive Udaipur

Meeting and transfer to hotel. Afternoon city sightseeing tour visiting - Sahelion Ki Bari, city palace, a drive around the Fateh Prakash Sager Lake and Jagdish Temple.
Overnight at hotel.

Day 13 – UDAIPUR / JAIPUR
Morning at leisure
Afternoon transfer to airport to board the flight for Jiapur.

Depart Udaipur
Arrive Jaipur
Meeting and transfer to hotel.
Overnight at hotel.

Day 14 - JAIPUR
Morning excursion to Amber Fort and you ride up the ramp of this 11th century bastion on a gaily decorated Elephant.

Afternoon city sightseeing tour visiting the Maharaja city Palace, the Observatory and the Palace of Wind-an artificial facade.
Time at leisure for shopping. Jaipur is famous for Carpets, Gems and Jewellery, a special mention to Textile. Overnight at hotel.

Day 15 – JAIPUR / AGRA
Depart for Agra by surface. Enroute visit Fatehpur-Sikri, the city conceived by Emperor Akbar. See the audience halls public and private, palaces and mosques.
Continue your journey to Agra and Check-in at hotel.
Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight at hotel.

Day 16 – AGRA / DELHI
Morning city sightseeing tour visiting the world famous Taj Mahal Built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal. Also visit Agra Forty built by Emperor Akbar, the maze of courtyards, mosques, and private chambers of the fort echo the story of the Mughal Empire.

Afternoon at leisure for shopping. Agra is famous for marble inlay work, leather shoes and coloured embroidery generally done with Gold and Silver thread.
Evening transfer to Railway station to board Shatabdi Express for Delhi.
Depart Agra
Arrive Delhi
Meeting and transfer to hotel for overnight stay.

Day 17 – DELHI / PATNA
Morning transfer to airport to board flight for Patna.
Depart Delhi
Arrive Patna
Meeting and transfer to hotel.
Afternoon visit Harmandir Gurudwara which is one of the four important Sikh pilgrimages in India. Patna is also the birth place of the Guru Gobind Singh the 10th Guru and that is why it is called Patna Sahib with reverence.
Overnight at hotel.

Day 18 – PATNA / DELHI
Time at leisure till transfer to airport to board flight for Delhi.
Depart Patana at 1520 hrs by IC-810
Arrive Delhi at 1650 hrs

Meeting and transfer on arrival to International airport to board the flight for your onward destination.

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