Duration: 17 Nights / 18 Days
Destinations Covered: Delhi - Bhopal - Bhimbetka Caves - Sanchi - Lalitpur - Deogarh - Chanderi - Tikamgarh - Khajuraho - Orcha - Agra - Jaipur - Samode
This is a tour which takes you back in time when man was living in the caves & then moves on to the 3rd century when the Great Emperor Ashoka spread his empire far & wide.
The famous Asoka Pillar which has been immortalized by the government of India from where the emblem of lion has been adopted is on this tour at Sanchi. The 8th century which was epitomized as the golden age of the Gupta dynasty also spread from this area. Then came the Chandellas of Khajurao & the Bundhelas of Orcha.
Day - 1: Delhi
Arrival Delhi in the morning. "Namaste" a warm welcome to India, a sincere greeting with a bow and folded hands. Transfer to a 5-star hotel in New Delhi. After a short break we embark on our first journey to discover India. Our introduction to India will be by a " Rickshaw" ride a mode of transport used in small towns and in Old Delhi.
We head for a guided city tour to the most interesting sights of the city that is the Red Fort a fort made of red sand stone which once housed the world famous PEACOCK throne and the Jama Masjid mosque. Welcome Dinner at the old Hauz Khas village complex overnight stay at the hotel.
Day - 2: Bhopal
Take an executive class airconditioned train to Bhopal a city which has been at the centre of many kingdoms. Overnight at the hotel.
Day - 3: Bhimbetka Caves
Around Bhopal. Early morning drive to Bhimbetka caves which are just like the caves of Kalahari or that of Australia. The oldest paining in these caves dates back 12000 years. Afternoon visit Tribal Museum thereafter the art gallery at Bharat Bhavan. Overnight at the hotel.
Day - 4: Sanchi
Early morning drive to Sanchi a city associated with Emperor Asoka who converted to Budhism & built a Stupa in the 3rd century. Sanchi and its surrounding areas are an archaeologists delight with its various Stupas of different eras monastries, temples, Gupta caves of Udaigiri dating to 320 to 606 A.D. or the famous Asoka Pillar from which has been derived the emblem of India. Overnight hotel.
Day - 5: Lalitpur - Deogarh
Take the train to Lalitpur. Disembark for Deogarh a drive of 23 km, which is associated with the history of the Guptas, the Pratiharas, the Gondas, the Muslim rulers of Delhi, the Marathas and the British. The Gupta age, because of its superb sculptures, is "in the annals of classical India almost what the Periclean age is in the history of Greece".
The fort has a remarkable group of 31 Jain Temples. The site was a Jain centre from the 8th to the 17th centuries. It's a virtual treasure trove of Jainism sculpted though being constantly vandalised but its still one of the best open art gallery that can be associated with Jainism another sect to have come out of Hinduism just like Budhism. Overnight at a rest house.
Day - 6: Chanderi
Drive to Chanderi the ancient capital of Chandela kings the builders of Khajurao temples & the halt of the Moghul army that went to conquer the deccan plateau. Huge 12th-13th century Jain carvings approximately 20 feet tall cut out in the hillside. The town also has fine examples of Rajput and Sultanate architecture. A magnificient Mughal fort dominates the skyline.
To the Indian women this town, is associated with its gossamer-like sarees. We visit the houses where these world famous Chanderi saris are made. We also get to see Bidis the Indian cigar being made. Later in the evening drive to Tikamgarh overnight at the rest house/farmhouse/camp.
Day - 7: Tikamgarh
Around Tikamgarh which became the capital of the Bundhela kings once the idols of Lord Ram was established in Orcha who is revered as a king in Bundelkhand. Visit the 5th century Sun temple, the bath of the queen of Orcha, a house built of empty liquor bottles by the Maharaja of Orcha.
Day - 8: Khajuraho
Drive to Khajuraho the citadel of power of the Chandela Kings in 10th &11th century. Khajurao has been declared a World Heritage Site. Though famous for its Erotic temple sculpture Khajurao is much more then just Kamasutra. The question which comes to mind is how could any society approve of such eroticism in a place of worship. To answer this question only a visit to khajurao can do. Overnight at the hotel.
Day - 9: Khajuraho
Explore Khajuraho overnight hotel.
Day - 10: Khajuraho
Drive to Panna national park lunch at tree house. Overnight Khajurao.
Day - 11: Orcha
Drive to Orcha the old capital of the Bundhela Kings who were the contempories of the Mughal Emperors. Check into the hotel on the banks of the river. Go exploring the marvels of Bundelkhandok. Overnight at the hotel.
Day - 12: Agra
Take the train to Agra. Check in to the hotel. Evening we visit The Taj Mahal a monument of Love built by an Emperor for his queen.
Day - 13: Agra
The tour of Agra continues from the famous Sikandra the mouselum built for the greatest Emperor of the Mughal dynasty Akbar the Great. Followed by Agra Fort a massive complex with exquisite work on pillars and ceiling. Emperor Shajahan the builder of Taj was held captive here by his son Emperor Aurangzeb who usurped the throne. It was from here that Emperor Shahjahn would view the Taj. In the evening we take to the streets of Agra. Overnight at Agra.
Day - 14: Jaipur
We leave for Jaipur the pink city of the Kachawa dynasty enroute stopping at the abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri built as the capital in 1571 and abandoned 15 years later when the wells went dry. Evening check in to the hotel.
Day - 15: Jaipur
A tour of the city palace, the palace of winds and then proceed to Amber fort the ancient capital of Jaipur built in the 16th century by Raja Man Singh in red sandstone and marble. It has some very intersting apartments like the Sheesh Mahal the glass canopy apartments and Jai Mandir, Sukh Niwas Baodi etc.
The highlight of this trip is the elephant ride up the ramparts of the fort just like the maharajas did. After this we visit the Jaigarh fort the armoury of the erstwhile state which houses the biggest cannon on wheels in the world. Overnight at hotel.
Day - 16: Samode
Half day sight seeing of the city and its street. We leave for Samode after lunch traveling down the national highway towards Delhi and turning of to Samode to reach Samode in late evening. Rest of the evening at Leisure to explore the village.
Day - 17: Delhi
We leave for Delhi to catch the flight back home.
Note : As this is an offbeat tour the accommodation at Sanchi, Deogarh, Tikamgarh is in tourist bunglows. This tour can only be done for a minimum 6 to 8 pax.