On this East India Cultural Tour explore Mughals & Colonial era monuments, Hindu Temples, Bodhist Monasteries & scenic hill resort. The itinerary cover visit to sightseeing attractions in Delhi, Agra, Bhubaneshwaar, Dhaulgiri, Udaygiri, Khandagiri, Ratnagiri, Lalitagiri, Konark, Puri Chila Lake, Kolkata, Darjeeling, Gangtok & Kalimpong. Package tour include accommodation, transport, guide during sightseeing & monuments entrances. Also enjoy joy ride on Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (Toy Train) and walk in Tea Estate.
Arrive DelhiOn arrival at Delhi airport assistance and transfer to hotel (hotel check in/ out time 1200hrs afternoon early check in subject to rooms availability). Rest time free and easy to relax nand personal activities. You can opt to go out for dinner with your driver. Overnight at Hotel
Location: Central Delhi, New Delhi
DelhiBreakfast at hotel, city tour of Delhi. Visit landmark of Old Delhi which include Red Fort the residence of the Mughal emperor for nearly 200 years until 1857. Jama Masjid one of the largest mosques in the world, built by Shah Jahan. Cycle Rickshaw ride in Chandni chowk & Khari Baoli Spice Market a busy shopping area with markets full of spices, dried fruit, silver jewelry and vivid saris, while the narrow side streets are crowded with tiny shops selling essential oils, stationery and traditional Indian sweets. Raj Gath the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi where he was cremated after his assassination. In New Delhi visit Humayun Tomb the first garden-tomb in Indian subcontinent and an early example of Mughal architecture commissioned by Humayun's first wife Empress Bega Begum in 1569-70. Qutab Minar a 73-metres tall minaret that forms part of the Qutb complex a fine examples of Afghan architecture. Lotus Temple a Baháʼí House of Worship notable for its flowerlike shape open to all, regardless of religion. Drive thrugh VVIP areas passing President House, Parliament & India Gate etc.
Rest time free and easy to relax and personal activities. Overnight at hotel.
Delhi - Agra - Delhi (204kms/ 4hrs approx one way)Breakfast at hotel full day excursion to Agra. Visit Taj Mahal an ivory-white marble mausoleum on the bank of the Yamuna river commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his favourite wife Mumtaz Mahal, it also houses the tomb of Shah Jahan himself. Agra Fort the main residence of the emperors of the Mughal Dynasty until 1638, when the capital was shifted from Agra to Delhi. Itmad-ud-Daula Tomb a Mughal mausoleum commissioned by Nur Jahan, the wife of Jahangir, for her father Mirza Ghiyas Beg.
After sightseeing drive back to Delhi.Overnight at hotel.
Location: Bhubaneswar, Khordha
Delhi - Bhubaneswar (Flight)Breakfast at hotel, transfer to airport to board flight for Bhubaneshwar.
Bhubaneswar, the temple city of India was once the capital of ancient Kalinga. These temples are unique in themselves, not only in their architectural beauty but also in the wonderful sculptures. These temples epitomize a comprehensive history of Orissan style of temple architecture from its very inception to perfection spreading almost to 2000 years from 3rd century BC to 16th Century AD.
Later city tour visiting Lord Shiva Lingaraja Temple, the 11th century temple described as “truest fusion of dream & reality.” A rare masterpiece, the temple has been rated one of the finest examples of purely Hindu temple. Every inch of the 55 m-high Lingaraja temple is covered with elaborate carvings. Sculpture & architecture fused elegantly to create a perfect harmony. Mukteshwara Temple, build in 7th-8th century AD is one of the most ornate temples in Bhubaneswar. The intricate carvings of the deities stand testimony to the influence of Hindu, Buddha & Jain style of architecture. The carvings on the roof are specially striking. Parashurameshwara Temple, a small but richly decorated shrine of Shiva that was built in the 7th century. It is one of the best examples of the Orissa style of temple architecture. Overnight at hotel.
Location: Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Jajpur
Excursion to Lalitgiri, Ratnagiri, Udaigiri & Khandgiri (100kms/ 2hrs approx one way)Breakfast at hotel, full day excursion to visit Lalitgiri, Ratnagiri & Udaigiri famous for Jain & Buddhist Monasteries. Lalitgiri, earliest Buddhist Complex dating back to the 1st century AD. The majestic ruins of the huge brick monastery, the remains of the chaitya hall, a number of votive Stupas & a renovated stone stupa at the apex of a small rugged sandstone hill dominate the rural greenery around. Next visit Ratnagiri, famous for many significant Buddhist sculptures scattered around in the hill range. The excavations have revealed the relation of this place with the Gupta Dynasty, dates back to 6th Century AD. The huge monastery showing that Buddhism spread through these areas in the later part, especially due to the influence of the great King Ashoka.Later Udaigiri & Khandgiri caves, largest Buddhist Complex in Orissa. These hills provide some solid examples of Jain & Buddhist art of the 2nd Century BC. There are monasteries, Chaitya & Stupas that represent a vibrant culture that flourished in these hills. Overnight at hotel.
Location: Bhubaneswar, Konark
Bhubaneswar- Puri (65kms/ 1.3hrs approx)Breakfast at hotel drive to Puri via visiting Dhauli, where Mauryan Emperor Ashoka the Great renounced bloody warfare & embraced the teachings of Buddha after victory over kingdom of Kalinga. Visit Peace Pagoda known as Shanti Stupa built in early 1970 by Japanese. Also visit two ancient rock edicts, today eclipsed by the presence of the Pagoda dating from 260 BC they outline Ashoka's detailed instructions to his administrators to rule with gentleness & fairness. Next drive to visit Konark temple Chariot of the Sun God, built by King Langula Narasimha Deva in the 13 century AD in the Golden era of Orissan art. This crowning piece of Orissan architecture & sculpture is sheer poetry on stoneOvernight at hotel.
Puri – Chilika Lake (55kms/ 1hrs approx one way)Breakfast at hotel excursion to visit Chilika Lake a brackish water lagoon, at the mouth of the Daya River, flowing into the Bay of Bengal, covering an area of over 1,100 km. It is the largest coastal lagoon in India and the second largest brackish water lagoon in the world after The New Caledonian barrier reef. It is the largest wintering ground for migratory birds on the Indian sub-continent & home to a number of threatened species of plants and animals. It sustains more than 150,000 fisher–folk living in 132 villages on the shore and islands. The lagoon hosts over 160 species of birds in the peak migratory season. Birds from as far as the Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, Aral Sea and other remote parts of Russia, Kirghiz steppes of Kazakhstan, Central and southeast Asia, Ladakh and Himalayas come here. A pleasant boat ride amidst the colourful migratory birds and the quaint water.
After sightseeing drive back to Puri and rest time free and easy to relax on the beach. Overnight at hotel.
Location: Kolkata (Calcutta)
Puri - Bhubaneswar (60kms/ 1hrs approx) / Bhubaneswar - Kolkata (Flight)Breakfast at hotel transfer to Bhubaneswar airport to board flight for Kolkata. Located in eastern India on the east bank of the River Hooghly, The city served as the capital in India during the British Raj until 1911. Referred to as the Cultural Capital of India, The City of Processions, & the "City of Joy", Kolkata has been home to luminaries such as Rabindranath Tagore, Subhas Chandra Bose, Mother Teresa, Satyajit Ray, Satyendranath Bose, Swami Vivekananda & many others. A vibrant city with a distinct socio-political culture, Kolkata is noted for its revolutionary history, ranging from the Indian struggle for independence to the leftist & trade union movements. Overnight at hotel.
Location: Kolkata (Calcutta)
KolkataBreakfast at hotel city tour of Kolkata. Visit Fort William built during the early years of the Bengal Presidency of British India, Extends over an area of 70.9 hectares on the eastern banks of the River Hooghly one of most enduring Raj-era edifices.Victoria Memorial the immaculate white memorial bounded by verdant greenery and broad roads is dedicated to Queen Victoria. Inside the memorial there is a museum where you can see the dresses of the queen as well as different kinds of weapons used during that era.Netaji Bhawan a building maintained as a memorial and research center to the life of the Indian nationalist "Netaji" Subhas Chandra Bose. The house, built by Bose's father in 1909, is owned and managed by the Netaji Research Bureau and includes a museum, archives and library. Howrah Bridge one of the most popular bridges of India also known as the gateway of Kolkata. Built on the river Hooghly it is one of the major Kolkata attractions and people from different part of the country come here especially to witness this amazingly structured bridge. Dakshineswar Kali Temple one of the major pilgrimage center in the city that is dedicated to Goddess Kali. Located on the bank of River Hoogly, the temple compound maintains a large courtyard with rooms along the boundary walls, twelve shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva, a bathing ghat on the river and a shrine dedicated to Rani Rashmoni. Overnight at hotel.
Kolkata - Bagdogara (Flight) / Bagdogara - Darjeeling (75kms/ 2hrs approx)breakfast at hotel transfer to airport to board flight for Bagdogara. On arrival at Bagdogara airport assistance and drive to Darjeeling check in at hotel. Darjeeling the Queen of India's hills setting is one of incomparable beauty. A Victorian town of old world charm 'discovered' by the British, is surrounded by fragrant tea gardens which seem to flow over the layered slopes like emerald swells on a rough sea. Rest time free and easy to relax and explore the mall market. Overnight at hotel.
DarjeelingEarly Morning 4am pick up for visiting Tiger Hill for spectacular view of colour full sunrise over Mt. Kanchendzonga, on way back visit Ghoom Monastery, Batasia Loop and back to hotel. After breakfast visit Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, PN. Zoological Park (closed on Thursday) Tenzing Rock, Ropeway view point, Tibetans Refuge Centre (closed on Sunday), Happy valley Tea Garden (outer view) and Lioyed botanical garden. Afternoon ride of toy train on Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit a Tibetan village one can hear the foghorn-like sounds of Buddhist monks blowing their giant Gyeling pipes from the rooftops of the nearby Yiga-Choling ' Yellow Hat' Buddhist Temple. Later visit the two Buddhist monasteries Chholing & Darli.
Evening free to explore the market.Overnight at hotel.
Darjeeling - Gangtok (75kms/ 3hrs approx)Breakfast at hotel drive to Gangtok, a fairytale capital in the clouds, balances precariously on Steep Mountain slopes, Surrounded by lush rice terraces, swifts flowing rivers & distant snow views. It is situated in the lower Himalayas & was a small hamlet until the construction of the Enchey Monastery in 1840. It became a major stopover between Tibet & British India at the end of the 19th century. It is also a centre of Tibetan Buddhist culture & learning with numerous monasteries & religious educational.
Later city tour of Gangtok, visit Research Institute of Tibetology an organization dedicated to furthering Tibetan studies, Buddhist philosophy & region. It attracts scholars from all over the world & houses a rare collection of 30,000 books, Tantric documents, rare manuscripts written in gold on the bark of a poisonous tree, antique thanks & 200 icons, all prized objects of art for the Buddhism.Overnight at hotel.
Location: East Sikkim, Gangtok, Darjeeling
GangtokBreakfast at hotel, excursion to visit Tsongo Lake. The place is a paradise for bird lovers with large number of Blue Whistling Thrush, Redstarts & Fork tails around. It hosts a number of migratory birds prominent among which is the Brahminy ducks. The word Tsongo in Bhutia language means source of the lake. Next visit Do Drul Chorten, two exquisite Stupas built to commemorate the victory of good over evil. The Jhang Club Chorten was built to perpetuate the memory of a great spiritualist of today. Thrul-Shik Rinpoche an ardent devotee of Buddha and one of his best interpreters died in 1962, the stupa immortalizes Rinpoche in the land of his birth. Next visit Rumtek Monastery, meandering roads through emerald green rice terraces, lays Rumtek, the main monastery of Kagyud or 'Black Hat' sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Built in 1959 by His Holiness the 16th Reincarnated Gyalwa Karmapa, it is a replica of Tsurphu Monastery from the Kham region of Tibet.Also visit Himalayan Zoological Park known as Bulbuley. It has paved cement path that passes by fenced open air enclosure housing the Red Pandas, barking deer & bears in a semi natural habitat. Government Institute of Cottage Industries, which produces crafts in authentic Sikkimese designs. Hand woven Tibetan carpets sprout dragons in natural dyes, Sikkimese-style tables called Choktse are expertly carved & colored in red & gold. Also explore Lal bazaar, melody of colour. Various ethnic groups from different villages gather to haggle, bargain, gossip their wares.Overnight at hotel.
Gangtok - Kalimpong (75kms/ 3hrs approx)Breakfast at hotel drive to Kalimpong, an incredible stunning backdrop of towering snow capped peaks. It also houses several Buddhist monasteries which hold a number of rare Tibetan Buddhist scriptures. It was ruled by Bhutan for 155 years & was annexed by the British only in 1865, after which it flourished as a centre of wool trade with Tibet. Here Buddhism rubs shoulders with Hinduism & Christianity. Gumpas, unusual churches, temples & missionaries coexist in a jovial society. Overnight at hotel.
KalimpongBreakfast at hotel visit Thongsa Gompa also known as Bhutanese Monastery. It is the oldest monastery in Kalimpong & was founded in the year 1692. Though the old structure was destroyed by the Gorkhas, it was rebuilt on the same site.Next visit the Zong Dog Palri Fo-Brang Gompa, which is on the Durpin hill & is famous for the Tibetan wall paintings. It also has a religious debating society along with a school of Tibetan medicine.Later visit Tharpa Choeling Monastery founded in 1937 & belongs to the Gelugpa (yellow hat) sect of Tibetan monastery. This Monastery houses many old scriptures & literary works. Dr Graham's Home, mission school was founded by Scottish missionary Dr. John Anderson Graham in 1900. The purpose of the school was to educate children of the tea garden workers & poor laborers. Also visit few nurseries around town.Overnight at hotel.
Location: New Delhi
Kalimpong - Bagdogara ((80kms/ 3hrs approx) / Bagdogara - Delhi (Flight)breakfast at hotel transfer to Bagdogara airport to board flight for Delhi. Form Delhi board connecting flight for onward destination.
Veicle will be provided in Delhi if require during the transit time.
Deluxe Air-conditioned private vehicle from arrival till departure as per tour program.
Bottled drinking water in car.
Monuments entrances and activities charges mentioned in the itinerary.
English speaking tour guide on sightseeing days (local guide in each city), as per program.
15 Nights accommodation in selected price category hotels.
Garland welcome and assistance on arrival at airport
Bottled water in carDaily breakfast at hotels.
What's Not Included
Delhi - Bhubaneshwar - Kolkata - Bagdogra - Delhi flight fare approx INR 20000 per person.
Main Meals, Lunch or dinner unless mentioned
Expenses of personal nature like liquor, laundry, tips, telephone, fax, internet etc.
Camera charges at monuments
Or anything not mentioned above.
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