Sample Itineraries

       
     

    Short Itineraries / Extension Trips

       
     

    Description for Important Destinations

     

    DELHI

      Delhi, the capital city of India has a tumultuous history and culture. A mix of Mughal, Hindu and Colonial architecture, Delhi is a busy and diverse city. A combination of the old and the new, one sees the ruins of forts and tombs along with modern buildings. In Delhi the visitor has lots to do – explore the Old city, visit the Red Fort, Humayun's Tomb, Qutub Minar and the famous mosque Jama Masjid. You can shop for trinkets at Cannaught Place, arts & crafts at the Cottage Emporium, and traditional souvenirs at Dilli Haat. Being the fashion capital of India, you can find trendy boutiques at Santushti Complex and Haus Khaus village. Besides all this, the Bahai temple and the Akshardham temple are worth a visit.  


     
     

    UDAIPUR

      Udaipur, a romantic city, set among green hills and lakes, is known as 'The Venice of the East'. A combination of Mughal and Hindu influences, the city is dotted with palaces, forts, and temples ranging from modest to extravagant. Bordering the Lake Pichola, the City Palace and the Lake Palace hotel are fine examples of the splendid Rajput architecture and grand lifestyle. At Udaipur, one must explore the several palaces and museums, forts, and temples. Udaipur is famous for local crafts, specifically miniature paintings, marble statues, leather bound books and handmade paper.  
     

    City Palace

      The City Palace towering over the Pichola Lake is the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. Maharana Uday Singh II, the founder of the city, initiated the construction of the palace but succeeding Maharanas added several structures to the complex over the decades. The palace is surmounted by balconies, towers and cupolas with great views of the city and the lake from the upper towers.  
     

    Jagdish Mandir

      Built by Maharana Jagat Singh I in 1651 the temple enshrines a black stone image of Lord Vishnu.  
     

    Sahelion Ki Bari

      The 'garden of the maidens', with its fountains, marble elephants and lotus pool, brings to mind the lifestyle of ladies of the court.  


     
     

    Devigarh

      Is an ancient Fort that has been recently converted into a boutique hotel. The Fort palace is a place where the past meets the future. This boutique hotel is contemporary in design, yet maintains the culture, history and heritage of the fort. The fusion of the old and the new is a fine example of 21st century India.  
     

    Ranakpur

      Ranakpur is one of the largest and most important Jain temples in India. The temple complex is a 2-hour drive from Udaipur through the green Aravalli hills. Built in 1439 the entire structure is made of white marble and has 29 halls supported by 1444 pillars. This temple is an architectural marvel with intricate carvings.  
     

    JODHPUR

      Jodhpur, at the edge of the great Thar Desert, was founded in 1459. The city is dominated by a massive fort Mehrangarh. From the fort you can clearly see where the old city ends and the new begins. The view of the blue buildings is one of Rajasthan's many spectacular sights. Jodhpur has an interesting bazaar in the heart of the city where traders gather in the early afternoon.  


     
     

    Ummaid Bhawan Palace

      Built of marble and pink sandstone, was started in 1929 and completed in 1944. Today this building has been converted into a hotel although a part of the palace is still occupied by the royal family.  
     

    Mehrangarh Fort

      Mehrangarh – The Majestic Fort, sprawled across 125 meter - high hill, is the most formidable fort in fort-studded Rajasthan. Inside the fort is a series of courtyards and palaces, a fine example of Rajput architecture and royal lifestyle. There is also a museum that houses a wonderful collection from the days of the royalty, ranging from miniature paintings to palanquins. The views of old city from the fort are magnificent.  
     

    Jaswanth Thada

      Situated close to the Mehrangarh fort, this is a white marble memorial to Maharaja Jaswanth Singh II. This cenotaph which was built in 1899 is followed by the Royal crematorium and three other cenotaphs which stand nearby.  
     

    JAIPUR

      Jaipur, known as the 'pink city' for the color of the old city, is the bustling capital of Rajasthan. It is a business center with all the trappings of a modern metropolis but yet flavored strongly with an age-old charm that never fails to surprise a traveler. A stunning backdrop of ancient forts - Nahargarh, Amer, Jaigarh and Moti Dungri are dramatic testimonials of the bygone era and a reminder of their lingering romance. Landmarks in the city, are the City palace complex, Hawa Mahal- Palace of the Winds, Jantar Mantar - observatory and the colorful bazaars, to name a few. Jaipur is a shopper's paradise- known for its handicrafts, carved furniture, precious stones, jewelry, marble statues, cotton textiles and block-printing. There are many shops, ranging from the inexpensive bazaars to boutiques to expensive designer jeweler stores.  


     
     

    Amber

      Amber (pronounced Amer) is situated about 11 kilometers from Jaipur and was the ancient citadel of the ruling Kachhawa clan of Amber, before the capital was shifted in the plains to present day Jaipur. The Amber Fort is a superb example of Rajput architecture, stunningly situated on a hillside overlooking a lake. Elephant rides are a popular way to go up the fort.  
     

    The City Palace

      Complex is located in the heart of the old walled city, and consists of a series of courtyards, gardens and buildings. A blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture, the complex was built over several decades including recent additions. The royal family still resides in a portion of the palace.  
     

    AGRA

      Situated on the banks of the river Yamuna, Agra is home to the world famous Taj Mahal. A 5-hour drive from Delhi, Agra is a crowded industrial city with a lively market famous for its marble inlay, souvenirs and leather goods. Having been the capital of the Mughal Empire for over 100 years, Agra has a wealth of magnificent architecture including the fort and several mausoleums besides the Taj Mahal. A visit to Agra is incomplete without exploring the neighboring deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri.  


     
     

    Taj Mahal

      An extravagant marble monument of love, built by Emperor Shahjahan in 1653 as a memorial to his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal took 22 years to complete and a total of 20,000 people from India and Asia worked on the building. The main architect is believed to be from Iran, but specialists were brought in from Europe to assist with the production of the marble screen and inlay work.  
     

    Agra Fort

      The original red sandstone fort was built by Akbar in 1565. Shahjahan added the marble palaces inside. The fort was originally built as a military structure but eventually became a prison for Emperor Shahjahan.  
     

    VARANASI

      Varanasi, on the banks of the river Ganges is revered as one of the holiest cities in India. Hindu pilgrims come to bathe in the river Ganges, pay homage to ancestors and perform the last rituals for their departed family members. It is a magical city where visitors can witness ancient rituals and traditional ceremonies conducted on the ghats (steps leading to the river). The old city is famous for its narrow alleyways, colorful bazaars and numerous temples. The best time to visit the ghats is at dawn when the pilgrims come to bathe and in the evening to enjoy the colorful aarti ceremony. The city is famous for the luxurious Banaras silks that are woven here, religious artifacts and musical instruments.  


     
     

    RANTHAMPORE

      National Park is one of the few tiger reserves in India. According to a recent census there is a reasonable chance of seeing a tiger provided one plans at least two to three safaris. Even if you do not spot a tiger, the park is spectacular and has a variety of wildlife. One of the most beautiful views of the park is the sight of the Ranthampore fort built in the 10th century which stands on top of a hill. As you drive through the park, every once in a while you are greeted with ancient ruined pavilions and hideouts within the forest. This area was formerly a hunting reserve of the Maharajas. Early morning and late afternoon are generally the best time for spotting wildlife.  
     

    HARIDWAR

      Haridwar is one of the most sacred cities in India for Hindus. Pilgrims flock here to bathe in the river Ganges and offer prayers. The main attraction here is the Har-ki-Pauri, which is the main bathing area surrounded by shops, sadhus and pilgrims. In the evening the traditional 'aarti' ceremony is performed and the entire area comes alive with the sound of chanting and flickering flames.  
     

    KHAJURAHO

      Khajuraho, a quiet village, is home to a complex of spectacular stone temples. The temples of Khajuraho were built by the Chandela kings during AD 950-1050 and are an example of Indo-Aryan architecture. Besides architectural beauty and size, the temples are known for their expression of erotic art.  


     
     

    RISHIKESH

      Home to many ashrams, Rishikesh is a tranquil city nestled among the lower Himalayas on the banks of the river Ganges. Here the river Ganges is clear and cold as she descends from the mountain towards the plains. Rishikesh was made world famous in the 1960s when the Beatles arrived here to find their Guru – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Since then it is known as the 'Yoga Capital of the World'. It is ideal to spend a few days here exploring the ashrams, bazaars, meditating and learning yoga.  
     

    CHENNAI

      Chennai, previously known as Madras is India's fourth largest city. Being a prominent British Base, the city has many colonial buildings that are government offices and is the World Headquarters for the Theosophical Society. Chennai has a rich history, which is seen in the temples, culture and industry. Today it is home to many multinational companies and is fast becoming an industrial leader in high-tech businesses. A bustling colorful city, Chennai has a lot to offer. Known for its tradition and performing arts, Chennai is popular for its South Indian cuisine, Bharathanatyam dance, temples, silk and sculpture.  
     

    Mahabalipuram

      Just 50 kilometers South of Chennai, the small seaside town of Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram), a World Heritage Site is famous for its Shore-Temples and stone sculptures dating back to the sixth and seventh centuries. The ancient art of stone carving is still alive here, and you can see the stone sculptors at work.  


     
     

    DakshinaChitra

      Is an interesting cross cultural living museum of art, architecture, lifestyle, craft and performing arts of South India. Here, you can explore 17 heritage houses, amble along recreated streetscapes, explore contextual exhibitions, interact with typical village artisans and witness folk performances set in an authentic ambience.  
     

    TIRUVANNAMALAI

      The quaint town of Tiruvannamalai, flanked by Mount Arunachala is an important religious center. It is also home to Sri Ramanashram where the great saint Sri Ramana Maharishi lived and attained salvation. The tranquil Ramanashram, set in green surroundings has a daily schedule where visitors meditate and take part in the ashram activities. Dating back to the seventh century, Sri Arunachala Temple is one of the largest and most captivating temples in India. Mount Arunachala is considered "sacred" and worshipped as a physical representation of Lord Shiva. Homage is paid to Lord Shiva by walking barefoot around the base of the Hill (13 kilometers) in a clockwise direction.  
     

    PONDICHERRY

      Pondicherry is a charming, relaxed, former French colony on the Bay of Bengal. Here, the revolutionary turned yogi, Sri Aurobindo established his Ashram in 1926, in collaboration with a Frenchwoman known as The Mother. Since his death in 1950 and The Mother's in 1973, the Ashram has functioned mainly as the home of their Samadhi shrine. Filled with fresh flowers and situated under a frangipani tree, the shrine is a peaceful place for contemplation and meditation. A few miles out of town is the community of Auroville, home to about 1500 residents, mostly foreigners. With a large community of artists and designers, Pondicherry is famous for its production of "fine" quality products, ranging from, candles, paper, textiles, ceramics, furniture, etc. There are many boutiques selling "exclusive" products.  


     
     

    SWAMIMALAI

      Swamimalai, a little town in rural South India is a pilgrim city, known for its temple dedicated to Lord Muruga. Swamimalai is nationally famous for the manufacture of beautiful bronze statues. Several schools dating back hundreds of years still exist and continue to use the traditional method of bronze making. Here we will be staying at a heritage property, built in the 1800's, which was originally the home of a feudal lord. The hotel is set amidst coconut and mango groves, with deer and peacocks. The hotel also has a yoga instructor and an Ayurvedic center. A visit to Swamimalai is an experience back in time.  
     

    TANJORE

      Tanjore is home to the magnificent Brihadishwara Temple, rightfully known as the "BIG TEMPLE" both for its size and grandeur. Dating to the 10th/11th century, this temple is an architectural marvel. This World Heritage Monument is worth a couple of visits preferably in the early morning and late afternoon when the light plays with the natural colors of the stone.  
     

    MADURAI

      Madurai is one of India's oldest cities (4th Century BC) and has been a center of learning and pilgrimage for centuries. Madurai's landmark, the Meenakshi temple, is a spectacular example of Dravidian architecture, dating back to the 11th century. It has 12 decorative towers adorned with colorful carvings of celestial and animal figures. The temple museum houses a beautiful collection of South Indian bronzes. There is a beautiful flower market right next to the temple filled with heaps of Marigolds and Jasmine. The narrow streets of the city are crowded and busy with pilgrims and traders. Madurai has produced many famous South Indian poets, authors and scholars.  


     
     

    COCHIN

      Set on a cluster of islands and narrow peninsulas, Cochin known as 'the Queen of Arabian Sea" is an ancient trading port. The highlights are 500-year old Portuguese houses, Chinese fishing nets, a 16th century Jewish synagogue and the first European church in Asia, where the explorer Vasco da Gama was initially buried. Over the years, Kochi has been a center for spice trade, first controlled by the Portuguese, then the Dutch and finally the British. It is still one of India's largest ports and a major naval base.  
     

    KUMARAKOM

      In the State of Kerala, Known as GODS OWN COUNTRY for its natural beauty, art and culture, Kumarakom is a hamlet on the banks of a fresh water lake, leading into the backwater canals. The backwater canals are a unique eco-system consisting of waterways that extend to hundreds of kilometers. These waterways support the lives of the farmers and fisherman who live in the area. Enchanting, with the lush vegetation, coconut trees and rice fields, the backwaters are "magical". Pamper yourself with authentic Ayurvedic massages or go on a houseboat to view the beautiful backwaters - this is the perfect setting for the ideal get away into tranquility.  
     

    THEKKADY / PERIYAR

      Set in the hilly Western ghats, spread across several hundred kilometers, Thekkady is a natural wildlife sanctuary and haven for hiking. Rich in vegetation, animals and birds, the eco-system is unique. It is home to bison, sambhar, langur and elephants. Occasionally one can even spot a tiger. Periyar is famous for its spice gardens and plantations where tea and spices such as cardamom, pepper, vanilla, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg are harvested.  


     
     

    THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

      Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala, is a beautiful seaside city built on seven hills. It is the home to the beautiful wooden Padmanabapuram Palace which is a museum by itself. With an international airport, it is often, used as the gateway to the golden sand beaches of Kovalam and Varkala.  
     

    GOA

      Located on the coast, Goa is famous for its Portuguese influence, churches and sandy beaches. Since the arrival of the Hippies in the sixties, Goa has been a major destination on the itinerary of international and domestic tourists. Besides the natural beauty, the fabulous beaches and sunshine, travelers to Goa love the laid-back, peaceful, warm and friendly nature of the Goan people.  
     

    AURANGABAD

      Situated within driving distance of Aurangabad are the World Heritage sites of Ajanta and Ellora. Magnificent sculpted cave temples dating between 200 BC and 1000 AD depicting Buddhist, Jain and Hindu religions. The city at one time was the seat of the Mughal empire and is also known for its silk and cotton textiles.  


     
     

    MUMBAI

      Mumbai is the country's financial capital and is the center for fashion, film and nightlife. The only city with skyscrapers and malls, Mumbai is always busy. Mumbai boasts of some of the finest restaurants and shopping in the country. The city itself is charming with colonial architecture mixed with temples and bazaars. The Gateway of India on the seaside is both Islamic and colonial in style. It is a favorite gathering spot for locals and a wharf for departing boats. Overlooking the harbor, the Taj Mahal Palace hotel is a Mumbai landmark, the first five star hotel built in 1903 by an Indian industrialist. In Mumbai, one can dine at some of the finest restaurants in the country, party at swanky bars, shop in the bazaars and luxury boutiques and go on a city tour.  
     

    MYSORE

     

    Famous for sandal wood, silk and paintings, Mysore is the seat of Royalty and is proud of its regal heritage. Known for its slower pace and pleasant climate, Mysore is the seat of Ashtanga Yoga. Enjoy this city, visiting the Maharaja’s palace, the lively Devaraja Market and Chamundi Hill- home to the famous Chamundeswari Temple and 16ft tall Nandi. A visit to the Jayachamarajendra Art gallery is a must.

     
     

    HAMPI

     

    Hampi is a World Heritage site, known for its fascinating ruins of the 15th Century city of Vijayanagaram. The ruins are set in an extraordinary landscape of giant granite boulders, lush paddy fields and banana plantations. Enjoy the city carved into rock comprising of temples, the bazaar and elephant stables.

     
     

    AIHOLE

      Aihole is a striking village town nestling on the banks of the Malaprabha River. The region is arrayed with plethora of most beautiful temple complex and displays some of the splendid temple ruins in particular. All the temples have exquisite, intricate carvings that were done between the 5th and 8th centuries. The region enshrines with 125 temples, which are divided into 22 groups and scattered all over the village.  


     
     

    BADAMI

      Badami is noted for its several cave temples, carved out of rock in the sixth-seventh century AD. Badami is a group of 4 cave temples - three are Hindus, while the fourth is Jain. Badami Fort is perched on hill top about 2 km. from the town which also has a temple in it.  
     

    PATTADAKAL

      Pattadakal showcases some of the rare specimen of temple art forms of 7th and 8th century. A majestic array of nine Hindu temples, as well as a Jain sanctum is the highlights of the town. The famous out of these are the Virupaksha temple and the Sangameswara temples.  
     

    BELUR

      Belur is famous for its magnificent Hoysala Temple Complex. Belur and Halebid are 17 km apart, but they have always been referred to in one breath, as belonging together. Yet, they are quite different in appearance. The Chennakeshava Temple in Belur is one of the finest examples of Hoysala architecture and the Hoysaleswara Temple in Halebid dating back to the 12th century is famous for its astounding wealth of sculptural details. Sravanabelagola is the other famous Jain pilgrimage spot.  


     
     

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