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Leave the U.S. and travel to Delhi, India
Arrive in Delhi and check in to the hotel. Today will be about rest and rejuvenation after traveling. You’ll enjoy a tasty welcome dinner before a great night’s rest.
After breakfast at the hotel, you are off to explore the Red Fort. Constructed in 1639 by the Mughals, it gets its name from its red-colored sandstone walls and is spread in 254 Acres. Meander the grounds and learn about the history of this iconic monument. Enjoy lunch in the area, then head to Jantar Mantar. Known as one of the most popular places to visit in India, this UNESCO world heritage site measures the time of the day based on the sun’s movements. Afterwards, head to The National Museum. Established in 1949, The National Museum is one of the largest museums in India. Grab some dinner before settling in for the evening.
Enjoy breakfast together. Then, head to Qutub Minar! Qutub Minar is a 73 meter (238 feet) tall minaret named after Qutb-ud-din Aibak. It is also known as the “victory tower” and it was built in 1193. After lunch, we are off to Akshardham, a temple dedicated to Swaminarayan. This temple exhibits the ancient culture and history of India. Then, we are off to the Lotus Temple, a Bahai House of worship. It boasts 27 free standing marble-clad petals, which make for great pictures and memory making! In the evening, enjoy dinner together and relax at the hotel.
After breakfast, drive to the New Delhi Airport to board a flight to Jaipur. Once you land, drive to the hotel, check in, and have some time to settle in. In the afternoon, explore Birla Mandir. In a city that seems to be dipped in Pink, the stark white marble Birla Mandir stands out-big time. Enjoy dinner then head back to the hotel.
After breakfast, explore the Hawa Mahal, also known as palace of Breeze. This landmark was built in 1799 to allow royal ladies to watch festivals in the street without being seen by the public. Its 953 windows allow plenty of breeze to pass through, making it an ideal summer palace. Enjoy some free time wandering around the city center. Visit Bapu Bazar, a marketplace in the city. Jaipur is a Mecca for souvenirs. Markets in the pink city brim with everything from costume jewelry and precious gem stones to embroidered textiles, cobalt blue pottery, and Rajasthani puppets. In the afternoon, visit Albert Hall museum. The oldest museum in Rajasthan, the Albert Hall museum boasts an extensive collection of art and historically significant artifacts. Have a great dinner before heading back to the hotel.
Enjoy breakfast in the morning before driving to Agra. Check in to the hotel, settle luggage, and freshen up. Then, we’re off to see today’s highlight: The Taj Mahal. Revered as one of the Seven Wonders of the world, this mausoleum is situated on the banks of River Yamuna and is dedicated to Shah Jahan’s wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Have lunch in the area, then you are off to explore Akbar’s Mausoleum, an iconic architectural masterpiece built in 1605.
This morning, visit the Agra Fort. This UNESCO world heritage site was once home to the emperors of the Mughal dynasty. Today, it is a well visited site also known as Lal Qila. Have lunch in the area before driving to Jhansi. Arrive in the evening, enjoy a lovely dinner, and settle in to the hotel.
Have breakfast before visiting the Dashavatara Temple. The Dashavatara Temple is locally known as Sagar Marh, which literally means “the temple on the tank”, a name it gets from the square water pool cut into the rock in front. After lunch, head to the Dashavatara Temple, an early 6th century temple located in the Betwa River valley. This temple shows the ornate Gupta style architecture. In the late afternoon, drive back to Jhansi for dinner and rest.
Today, we’ll drive to Bhitargaon, stopping for lunch on the way. Once we arrive, we’ll explore the Bhitargaon Temple, the largest Indian brick temple to survive from the time of Gupta Empire. It is dated to the late 5th century and is well-visited yearround. Then, we’ll drive to Kanpur to visit the Allen Forest Zoo. This zoo encompasses the largest land area of any zoological garden in Asia. Have dinner before boarding an overnight train from Kanpur Central to Bhopal.
Arrive in Bhopal and have breakfast. In the early afternoon, drive to Sanchi Stupa. This site was founded thousands of years ago by Emperor Ashoka and is decorated with some of the best Buddhist artwork in the world. Sanchi Stupa is depicted on the reverse side of the Indian currency note of Rs 200 to signify its importance to Indian cultural heritage. Explore the site and have lunch in the area. Then, head to the Udayagiri Caves. The Udayagiri caves are twenty rock-cut caves near Vidisha from the early years of the 5th century CE. They are the only site that can be verifiably associated with a Gupta period monarch from its inscriptions. Drive back to Bhopal and take an overnight train to Aurangabad.
Arrive in Aurangabad and check in to the hotel. Have breakfast and some down time before today’s excursion: visiting the Ajanta caves! The Ajanta caves are approximately 30 rock-cut Buddhist cave monuments dating from the 2nd century BCE to about 480 CE. The caves constitute ancient monasteries and worship-halls of different Buddhist traditions carved into a 75-metre wall of rock. Can you find all thirty Buddha carvings?! Explore the site at your leisure. In the evening, drive back to the hotel, stopping for dinner on the way.
Today is all about nature and adventure. Have breakfast in the morning before heading to Ellora Caves. Built by the Rashtrkuta king, Krishna I during 600 to 730 CE, Ellora caves is one of the largest rock-cut Hindu temples in the world. Then, explore the Aurangabad caves. The caves are datable from circa 2nd – 3rd century AD to 7th century AD. Aurangabad caves are 12 artificial rock cut Buddhist caves located on a hill. Have lunch then drive to the Aurangabad Airport to take a flight to Chennai. Arrive in the evening, check in to the hotel, enjoy dinner, and have a great night’s rest.
In the morning, enjoy breakfast together. Then, head to Mahabalipuram. Known for its temples and monuments built by Pallava dynasty in the 7th and 8th centuries, this site is a must see. Stop by Marina Beach and have lunch in the area. Then, visit the Kapaleeshwara Temple. The temple was built around the 7th century CE by the ruling Pallavas and is an example of Dravidian architecture. In the afternoon, enjoy free time exploring and shopping at the Pondy Bazaar marketplace.
Have breakfast before driving to Kanchipuram. Visit the Ekambareswarar Temple. Pallava Kings built this temple in 17th century dedicated to the deity Shiva. After, visit the Kanchi Kamakshi Amman Temple. Pallava kings also built this temple, but in 7th century. Chola and vijaynagar kings later expanded on the temple. In the evening, drive back to Chennai for a farewell Dinner.
Travel back to the U.S.
Payment must be paid in full at time of booking.
Due: October 15, 2022
Due: October 15, 2022