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Dates: 25th October-9th November
Delhi, Mandawa, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Pushkar, Jaipur, Fatehpur Sikri, Agra & Varanasi.
Wednesday, 25th & Thursday, 26th October
We meet at Malta International Airport at 12.30 pm for our Emirates flight to Dubai. Our flight departs at 3.35 pm and arrives in Dubai at 1.05 am (26th October). We then board our flight to Delhi which departs at 3.55 am and arrives at 9.05 am. Upon arrival, we are transferred to Hotel ITC Welcom Dwarka (or similar) in Delhi, and we check in. This capital city is one of the most important metropolitans in India, as it is the city of power. It offers a combination of both modern, as well as ancient cultures. Its strategic location, a mixture of modern and Indian culture, rich history, and medieval market, besides the modern ones are the main reasons for being chosen as the seat of power. Delhi is a city waiting to be explored – in the afternoon we will have a short orientation tour.
Friday, 27th October
After breakfast, we enjoy a full-day combined city tour of Old & New Delhi visiting Raj Ghat, where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated, the Red Fort, made by Mughal Empror Shahjahan, and Jama Masjid – the largest in India. It has three great gateways, four angle towers, and two minarets constructed of alternating vertical strips of red sandstone and white marble. We also visit Chandni Chowk, a main street of Old Delhi that offers a colorful shopping bazaar. We also admire Laxmi Narayan Temple, dedicated to Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity and good fortune, and the war memorial India Gate, a 42ms high stone of triumph. It bears the names of 85,000 Indian army soldiers, who died in the campaigns of WWI. During our excursions, we also see the palace-like building Rashtrapati Bhawan thawhich the official residence of the President of India. We end the day by visiting Bahai Temple, or the Lotus Temple, a marvel of modern architecture.
Saturday 28th October
After breakfast, we check out and depart to Mandawa. Upon arrival, we checkin at Hotel Mandawa Castle (or similar). We discover Mandawa, a small town in the heart of Shekhawati region – a place known for its havelis but also for Fort Palace. The structure of the palace shows the cultural and social importance of this region in the past. Of the havelis, the most important are the Chokhani, Ladia, Binsidhar Newatia, and Gulab Rai Ladia Haveli. Another haveli, the Binsidhar Newatia Haveli, is known for its curious paintings.
Sunday , 29th October
Today, we enjoy breakfast and then set off to Bikaner. Upon arrival, we check in at Hotel Lalgarh Palace (or similar). The city of Bikaner has seen several ups and downs in its eventful history. Bikaner is also called the camel country, being renowned for the best riding camels in the world. It is also the birthplace of the world-famous Bikaneri bhujia and nankeen (a salted snack made of lentils). Being a desert scape, the summers are very hot in Bikaner. In the afternoon we enjoy a city tour visiting the majestic forts and Mata Karni Temple where rats are considered sacred and worshipped. Some of the major attractions around the city are Junagarh Fort, Lalgarh Palace, Camel Breeding Farm, and Gajner Palace.
Monday, 30th October
Breakfast and then we are transferred to Jodhpur, set at the edge of the Thar desert. Our hotel for the stay at Jodhpur is Hotel Fern Residency (or similar). The imperial city of Jodhpur echoes tales of antiquity in the emptiness of the desert. It once was the capital of the Marwar state. The graceful palaces, forts, and temples scattered throughout the city bring alive the historic grandeur, exquisite handicrafts, and folk-dance music and the brightly attired people lend a romantic aura to the city. The jumbles of wide winding streets are flanked by pavement stalls. Later we enjoy a city tour visiting Mehrangarh Fort and Jaswant Thada – a cluster of royal cenotaphs in white marble built in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. We also visit Umaid Bhawan Palace – the only 20th-century palace built under the famine relief project that gave employment to famine-struck population.
Tuesday, 31st October
Today we explore Udaipur. After breakfast, we check out and set off. Udaipur is a fascinating blend of sights, sounds, and experiences. Right from medieval times, the city has been an inspiration for poets, painters, and writers. Founded in 1559 and named after Maharana Udai Singh, Udaipur became the capital of the Sisodia dynasty whose earlier capital was Chittor. According to legend, the Maharana was out hunting one day when he met a holy man meditating on a hill overlooking Lake Pichola. The hermit blessed the Maharana and told him to build a palace at that very spot, as it would be well protected. The Maharana followed the holy man’s advice and Udaipur came into being. Later check in at Hotel Inder Residency (or similar).
Wednesday, 1st November
After breakfast, we have a full-day city tour. The city is famous for its palaces, lake, museums, temples, and gardens. The City Palace and Museum are considered the largest palace complex in Rajasthan and its museum has a stunning collection of objects collected by different Maharanas of Udaipur over the centuries. The Pichola Lake, Udai Sagar, and Pratap Sagar are some of the most beautiful lakes in the state. Some other attractions in the city are the Jagdish Temple, Saheliyon Ki Bari, Jag Mandir, Bhartiya Lok Kala Mandir, Pratap Memorial, and Ahar Museum.
Thursday, 2nd November
Breakfast and afterward we make our way to Pushkar. Upon arrival, we check-in at Hotel Aaram Bagh Resort / Pushkar Fort (or similar). In the afternoon we explore Pushkar – one of the frequently visited tourist destinations of Rajasthan. Characterized by a picturesque valley, mountainous regions, uncommon scenic spots, and several pilgrimage sites of importance, Pushkar is known all over. It also makes one of the revered Hindu pilgrimage sites of India and houses the only temple dedicated to Lord Brahma in the world. Their colorful veils, turbaned heads, and colorfully dyed skirts, with the sounds of the ektara and the soulful tunes of the Rajasthani folk songs, make the nights of the Pushkar very pleasing.
Friday , 3rd November
Today after breakfast we proceed to Jaipur, a city colour washed in pink – the colour associated with hospitality in Rajput culture. This beautiful city along with Agra and Delhi form what is known as the Golden Triangle of the Indian tourist circuit. There is a timeless appeal to Jaipur’s colourful bazaars where one can shop for Rajasthani handlooms and trinkets. Beautifully laid out gardens and parks, attractive monuments, and marvellous heritage hotels, once the residence of Maharajas is worth admiration. Not to mention the ambling camels and cheerful people in multi-hued costumes that make your trip to the pink city a memorable one. Overnight at Hotel KK Royal & Convention/Ramada Plaza (or similar).
Breakfast and then enjoy full day city sightseeing tour of Jaipur – the picturesque capital of Rajasthan. Morning excursion to Amer Fort. The fort is built with white marble and red sandstone and look even more attractive because of the Maota Lake in the foreground. The fort in itself is a beautiful sight to behold but as one looks on the fort with its clear reflection on the lake in the front, one cannot help but wonder if it is a dream or a beautiful illusion. Afternoon city tour visiting City Palace, Jantar Mantar and the Hawa Mahal or the Palace of Winds – constructed for the royal ladies to watch the royal processions without being seen. Other attractions include the Jaigarh Fort, Birla Mandir, and Sisodia Rani Ka Bagh.
Sunday , 5th November
After breakfast we depart to Agra and enroute we visit Fatehpur Sikri. On arrival, we check in at the Hotel Clarks Shiraaz (or similar). Later we enjoy a city tour visiting the world known – Taj Mahal, built by the Moghul Emperor Shahjehan in 1630 for his queen Mumtaz Mahal to enshrine her mortal remains. Besides the Taj, the Agra Fort (also called the Red Fort) makes an interesting sight. Besides the historical monuments, one can also explore Agra’s rich heritage of handicrafts in its markets.
Monday , 6th November
Today, we are transferred to Delhi airport to board flight for Varanasi. Upon arrival, we proceed to Hotel Amaaya (or similar) and check in. The city of Varanasi is situated along the west bank of the Ganges in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Called Banaras by the British, Varanasi is an important pilgrimage centre for the Hindus. Right from the ancient times, Varanasi has stood as a symbol of Hindu renaissance and preserved the rituals and traditions of Hindu philosophy. Down the ages, pilgrims from distant lands have come to Varanasi in search of divine blessings. In the evening we enjoy a boat ride and the glittering Aarti ceremony at the Ganges.
Tuesday , 7th November
We start our morning on a delightful note in our trip to Varanasi with visits to several ghats by sailing on boats. The early morning boat ride is perhaps the best way to get an insight into the Hindu pilgrimage as we get to see pilgrims bathe that literally wash off their sins. Have a quick walk in the by lanes of Varanasi after the boat ride to get a glimpse of a typical day’s proceedings. Later, city tour of Varanasi visiting temples form the major source of attraction in this ancient city. Some of the other interesting places to visit around the city are Alamgir Mosque, Durga Temple, Vishwanat Temple, Bharat Mata temple, Tulsi Manas Temple, Banaras Hindu University and the Archaeological Museum. We visit Kashi Vishwanath Mandir and Varanasi tour.
Wednesday 8th & Thursday , 9th November
Today we head to the airport to fly back to Delhi and upon arrival we are transferred to Hotel ITC Welcom Dwarka (or similar). Today we have the rest of the day at leisure. Later in the evening we are transferred to the airport for our flight to Malta, departing at 4.10am (9th November). This is followed by our connecting flight departing Dubai at 7.35am and arriving in Malta 1.15pm.
PRICE PER PERSON
Adult in Twin €2449
Adult in Single €2933
Minimum group size is based on 20 passengers
A Maltese passport with a validity date of 6 months beyond departure date.
Visa: Please ask at the desk for requirements.
Vaccines: Kindly check with the National Immunisation Service at Floriana Health centre.
Emirates flights to/from Delhi via Dubai 14 nights’ accommodation in hotels listed (+ late check out on the last day)
14 buffet breakfasts & 14 dinners
All transfers as per program
All excursions guided by English speaking guide, as indicated in the itinerary
Entrance fees as per program
Services of tour leader