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Typical North India tour itinerary:
Day 1: Arrive Delhi – then to Agra
Fly from your capital city to Delhi for a traditional “Swagat” (Welcome). We will then proceed to Agra. Agra is beautifully situated on the banks of river Yamuna. It achieved prominence as the capital of the Mughal Emperors from the year 1526 to 1628, During this time the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort & Fatehpur Sikri were built.
Day 2: Agra Tour
In the morning, we take the excursion to Mathura and Vrindavan. Mathura and Vrindavan is the birthplace of the Hindu Lord, Krishna. It is a fantastic insight into the Indian religion.
In the afternoon we will visit, the Taj Mahal from the opposite river bank. We wander through a local village and then rest with the goat herders on the opposite bank to the Taj Mahal in a ruined garden. This is a magical experience off the tourist trail.
Day 3: Agra – Jaipur – via Fatehpur Sikri
In the early morning, we visit Taj Mahal, the symbol of eternal love. It was built by the 5th Mughal emperor, Shah Jehan in the year 1631 in memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It was completed in 22 years. Further, we visit Agra Fort, taken over from the Lodhis by the Mughal Emperor Akbar in the late 16th century. The Fort can be more accurately described as a walled palatial city. It was built from red sandstone, often inlaid with white marble & intricate decorations.
Later we drive to Jaipur route we will visit Fatehpur Sikri (The Ghost Capital), the political capital of India’s Mughal Empire under Akbar’s reign, from the year 1571 until 1585, when it was abandoned, ostensibly due to lack of water. We visit Emperor Akbar’s Residential complex, Mosque & Tomb of Salim Chisti.
Day 4: Jaipur
Today we start with an optional cycling tour through the old city, flower markets and a traditional sweet factory. After we drive to Amber Fort, the palace complex which stands to this date was commenced under the reign of Raja Man Singh. We will see the true opulence of the Raj. Later we visit the City Palace, a perfect blend of Rajasthani & Mughal architecture. The centre of the palace is a seven-storied building called Chandra Palace, with fine views over the gardens & the city. Further, we visit Jantar Mantar (Solar Observatory), an astronomical treasure house, with solar devices that give accurate predictions till date. We also visit Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), a five-storied structure of pink sandstone. It was built so that veiled royal women could peer down the busy street market unseen by the world through its 593 stone Jharokas (mini windows). In the evening we will have an optional visit to a local fair replete with elephants & camels, sideshows, fortune tellers and so much more.
Day 5: Jaipur – Chandigarh
We will depart by car to Chandigarh.
Day 6-10: Dharamshala
After visiting the beautiful gardens of Chandigarh we will proceed to Dharamshala, staying at the village of Bhagsu Nag, with Vikas Nehria and his family. (Homestay). Each morning, after Yoga and meditation, we will explore the local region. This hill station will enchant you with its scenic mountain beauty. McLeod Ganj is also the seat of His Holiness Dalai Lama. Owing to the presence of the spiritual leader the town is a major seat of Buddhist learning in India. We will visit the temple of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. There will be plenty of free time to truly explore McLeod Ganj relaxed villages and vibrant markets. In the afternoons we will have mini excursions to local sights. For example, we will visit the Temple at Bhagsu Nag, an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Bhagsu Nag (a local god). It also has a freshwater spring, in which pilgrims travel to take a holy dip flows through the temple. Nearby is the beautiful Bhagsu waterfall where we can have a chai and enjoy the enchanting view.
There will be plenty of free time to truly explore McLeod Ganj relaxed villages and vibrant markets. In the afternoons we will have mini excursions to local sights. For example, we will visit the Temple at Bhagsu Nag, an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Bhagsu Nag (a local god). It also has a freshwater spring, in which pilgrims travel to take a holy dip flows through the temple. Nearby is the beautiful Bhagsu waterfall where we can have a chai and enjoy the enchanting view.
In the evening we will have a cooking class, and a delicious home-cooked dinner.
Other local places we will visit are:
- Tong-Len Tent school in Charan Khad (caring for the local children)
- Shopping in Kotwali Bazar and lunch in Kotwali
- See home life and enjoy dinner in a village
- Picnic near McLeod Ganj with the view of the Kangra valley
- Walk around the markets in McLeod Gang
- Trek to Kareri Lake
- Walking tour of Bhagsunag
- Meet with Dr Sibi, the Ayurvedic Doctor
- Tour of Dalai Lama temple
- Visit the amazing Norbulingka – Organisation for the preservation of Tibetan Culture
Day 11: Dharamsala – Amritsar
Today we will travel to Amritsar. In Hindi, the word Amritsar means ‘a Holy pool of nectar’. One of the ancient cities of India, it is the main seat of Sikh history and culture.
At sun down we drive 10 km to “Wagha Border” to witness the pageantry of the lowering of the flags ceremony. It is similar to the ‘changing of the guards’ at Buckingham Palace.
Day 12: Amritsar – Delhi
Today after breakfast we go on a guided tour of Amritsar. We visit, the “Golden Temple”, it is the most sacred temple of the Sikhs built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The lower portion of the temple displays white marble inlay work and the upper portion is embellished with copper coated over by gold plate. Later we visit “Jallian Wala Memorial”. We will then proceed to Delhi.
Day 13: Delhi
Optional Walking Tour through Old Delhi. You will travel through time as we explore the magic of this ancient city. We will see how people truly live. This wonderful tour will leave you connected forever with the true India. After Lunch, we visit the New Delhi we visit Raj Ghat, a memorial to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. Further, we drive past India Gate, the memorial built in the year 1931 to commemorate the Indian soldiers who died in the World War I & the Afghan Wars. Later we drive to Parliament House, then we will visit Qutub Minar, built in the year 1206 by Qutub-ud-din Aibek. It is the tallest (72m) brick minaret in the world, an important example of Indo-Islamic Architecture. In the afternoon, we will tour the mystery and history of Old Delhi, visiting the World Heritage-listed Red Fort which forms the majestic centrepiece of Emperor Shah Jahan’s medieval walled city. Next, we will tour Jama Masjid – India’s largest mosque, a beautiful memorial of peace at Birla House commemorating Mahatma Gandhi. And then on to the bustling market maze, Chandni Chowk, by rickshaw. In the evening we will be reminded of the magnificent power and pomp of the Mughal emperors with a Sound & Light Show at Red Fort.
Day 14: Delhi – Australia
After lunch, we board the plane for the trip home full of happy memories. Arrive home the next morning.
We would be delighted to give you additional information about the journey so please do not hesitate to contact us.
Yours in Yoga,
Swami and Sanjay Sarasvati