What you get
Incredible India: Most famous landmarks
Two weeks of deep immersion in the life and culture of India, after which you will definitely want to return! We will see everything that India is proud of and that the entire world admires.
- Try the most delicious Afghani chicken and bread from a clay oven in Muslim cafes of Old Delhi
- Walk in the stunning Taj Mahal
- Listen to silence and watch Buddhist ceremonies at the place of Buddha’s enlightenment in Bodhgaya
- Ride boats on the holy Ganges River in the sacred Hindu city of Varanasi
- Watch the famous flag lowering ceremony on the border with Pakistan
- See all details of hundreds of sculptures in the "Kama Sutra temples" in Khajuraho - the most famous erotic temples in India
The price of the trip includes:
- Accommodation in double rooms of tourist class hotels;
- All train ticket of 3АС class (with sleeping benches and air conditioning), rented cars and all other transportation during the trip;
- Domestic flight Kolkata-Amritsar;
- Professional guiding services.
What is NOT included:
- Flight to Delhi and from Delhi back home, (Let us know if you need help finding the best flights);
- Medical insurance (mandatory);
- Entrance fees to museums, palaces, parks and other attractions ($75);
- Food ($7-12 per day per person);
- Visa to India ($103).
Arrival in Delhi, checking into a hotel in the central Paharganj district. We rest and then enter the bustling streets of the Indian capital in search of the most delicious lassi and fruit. We will have lunch in the heart of Old Delhi, in a colorful Muslim cafe, known for their perfect Afghan-style chicken, bread in a clay oven and other traditional dishes of North Indian cuisine.
We go to New Delhi to enjoy the peace and coolness in the Lodi gardens. This city park is the favorite place of young romantic couples. Also, it is the place where the grand tombs of the rulers of the 15th century are located.
In the morning we go to the Red Fort and the main mosque of India - Jama Masjid. These iconic sights are located in the heart of old Delhi and are surrounded by a huge bustling bazaar, which has been located on this place for hundreds of years. Mind your feet but do not forget to look around!
Moving on to newer, but equally well-known places, we will visit the famous Lotus Temple of the Bahai faith, a teaching that preaches the unity of all religions. Built in 1986 in the form of a lotus flower, it is considered a house of prayer for believers of all religions. Reading sacred books or ceremonies are not welcome here, but visitors can go inside for a short meditation, or a silent prayer.
We go to the very colorful Hindu temple - Kalkaji to see the ancient images of the Indian goddess Kali. In the evening, we will watch the light show in the Old Fortress, learning more about very rich history of Delhi.
Day 3 - 4
Morning train to Jaipur. We check into a hotel in Hathroi district, rest and go to the grand fort of Amer. We explore the old city of Amer, which is spread around the fortress. Tourists do not come here. Life here is very serene and has not changed muched over the past hundreds of years.
We move on to the no less impressive fort of Jaigarh. It was built in 1726 to protect Fort Amer and the palace inside it where the raja and his family lived.
We return to Jaipur and explore the narrow streets of the Pink City. Walk inside the famous Palace of Winds, to see the bustling streets below from behind the latticework of the windows, like the women from the Rajah’s family did just just decades ago.
The Raja's palace is just a stone`s throw away from here. We will walk in the part of the palace, open to the public. The other parts are closed because the family of the last Rajah of Jaipur still lives here.
We watch the sunset on top of the hill overlooking the city, and then go to the famous cinema for the latest Bollywood film. Indian cinema has changed a lot since our grandmothers!
In the morning we leave for Agra by a high-speed train (4 hours on the way). This city, until 1658, was the capital of the Mughal Empire. This superpower included the territory of almost all of modern India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and parts of Afghanistan. On rickshaws we will drive through the streets of Agra and see that the city has preserved a little from its former greatness. But the main attraction of the country - the Taj Mahal, is located here! And for that you can forgive everything.
Not a single photo, not a single video will convey the greatness of this grand snow-white construction. It must be seen with your own eyes. The love story behind this marvel can be retold by every Indian schoolchild. This mausoleum was built by the ruler named Shah Jahan for the body of his deceased wife Mumtaz Mahal in 1653. The construction of this miracle took considerable 22 years! After Shah Jahan died, his body was buried next to his beloved wife.
Still impressed by what we have seen, we take the night train to Khajuraho.
We come to Khajuraho and check into a hotel. This town boasts 22 ancient temples. All of them were built in the 10-11 century by local rulers, who professed tantric beliefs. Kamasutra in stone - it is hard to give shorter and more precise name to these famous erotic temples!
Thousands of large and small statues depict animals, people and strange mythical creatures intertwined in unusual positions. Yes, the views on sex in India have changed a lot since the times when these temples were built! It is especially interesting to watch faithful Indian older women in saris who carefully lay out flowers and clay lamps under the explicit scenes from the life of the deities.
In the evening, we depart by night train to Varanasi.
Day 7 - 8
Arrival in Varanasi, checking into a hotel near the Ganges River. We are in the sacred Hindu city, which is also known as Benares and has long been considered the spiritual center of the country. Pilgrims come here from all over the world, and to die and be cremated in Varanasi is a dream of every devoted Hindu.
It is not surprising that at every step there are ancient temples of all sizes, styles and denominations, and the brahman priests invite visitors to prayers. In the evening we take boats to the place of cremation and the daily lush Hindu ceremony. One of the Brahmins will tell us about the rules of the Hindu burial. You will also understand why horror stories about Varanasi and the Ganges River in these places are nothing more than myths.
But Varanasi is not only about Hinduism. Nearby there is a small town of Sarnath - the place of the first sermon of Buddha Shakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism. It boasts an impressive old stupa from the time of King Ashoka. We will bypass it several times, according to Buddhist tradition, and touch burnt bricks that are more than 2300 years old! Explore the Jain temple just a stone`s throw away. The superintendent will be happy to tell us about their religion and the very unusual guru who built this shrine.
At the end of our of stay we take a train to Gaya, Bihar state (5 hours trip) and then board rickshaws for a short ride to to the nearby Bodhgaya, where we will check into a hotel in the center.
Day 9 - 10
We wake up early in the morning and go to meet the sunrise at the temple near the sacred Bodhi tree. It was at this place, under the ancestor of this tree, more than two and a half thousand years ago, that Buddha Shakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism, achieved enlightenment. Buddhist pilgrims come from all over the world to pay their respects to this temple. We observe monks and nuns in colorful clothes, their prayers and rituals.
We have breakfast in a colorful local cafe and walk to the nearby village of Sujata. When they say that life in rural India has changed little over the past few thousand years, they mean such villages as this one. People here still live a very simple life - they manually cultivate fields, keep cattle, make their own pottery. But next to their small houses there is a huge stupa, built in the 2nd century BC!
Next morning we leave by car to Rajgir (approximately 2 hours on the way). We walk up (or take a cable car) to the top of the sacred mountain of Gridhrakuta, where Buddha preached. We go to the Japanese temple on the top and then visit the archaeological museum in Nalanda. In the evening we return to Gaya and take a night train to Kolkata.
Day 11 - 12
In the morning we arrive in the city, known as the most European city in the country - Kolkata! Here, elegant British architecture co-exists with typical Indian houses, sacred cows graze near the pretentious former houses of British nobility, and the most delicious masala tea is brewed in huge kettles near old cafes and fancy restaurants.
We will visit the first museum in India, opened since 1814. In particular, a unique collection of Buddhist sculpture is kept here, the oldest statues of more than 2300 years old! Nearby, in the middle of the park, is the white Victoria Memorial, built in honor of the ruler of the British Empire. We walk inside to go back to the recent past of India and see sculptures, paintings and other objects of art.
We walk around the city center and find ourselves in Lal Bazaar - the main tea market of the country, where the famous black tea from Darjeeling is sold. We will also visit the flower market to watch loaders working between the colorful, fragrant mountains of fragile goods. Finally, we will take a boat ride on the Hooghly River to visit the impressive Temple of Kali. It was built by the popular ruler Rani Rashmoni in 1855, and the tutor was the famous Indian guru Ramakrishna.
We learn more about his teaching and the reform of Hinduism in the Temple of Belur, which was built in his honor. Interestingly, the architecture of the temple includes elements of not only Hinduism, but also Christianity and Islam. At the end of our stay we fly to Amritsar (approximately 6 hours on the way), where we check into a hotel.
Day 13 - 14
Amritsar is the capital of the state of Punjab, where mainly Sikhs live. We will visit their main shrine - the Golden Temple, where the main sacred text of this religion is kept. Every day tens of thousands of pilgrims from all over the world come here to look at these pages and wash away their sins in the lake that surrounds the temple.
In the temple kitchen, volunteers prepare free meals per 100 thousand people every day! We can take part in cooking and have lunch with the pilgrims. After lunch we leave for the small village of Vagah on the border with Pakistan (approximately 1 hour on the way). Every evening, the border crossing point between two unfriendly countries turns into a concert venue.
This is where the famous ceremony of the evening flag lowering takes place! Patriotic music, drumming and performances of two-meter tall handsome border guards to the cries and singing of thousands of crowds. This show is unforgettable!
In the evening we return to the hotel in Amritsar. Next morning we take the train to Delhi (about 7 hours on the way). We go to the airport and fly home.
Is this trip for you?
Citizens of almost all countries need a visa to enter India. Visa can be obtained online or in the embassy prior to the trip.
We provide free visa consulting for our clients.
3G mobile internet in India
Price: + $30
Prepaid local sim card with 3GB internet package
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