15th July 2009 / Wed / Arrival Delhi
Arrive Delhi, meet assist at the airport & transfer to hotel. Night stay in Delhi.
16th July 2009 / Thu / Delhi
After a leisurely breakfast sightseeing tour of New Delhi where ornate buildings recall the days when India was the Jewel in the crown of the British empire. Visit the 11th century Qutab Minar ,India Gate and the grand government buildings, the President's House, Mahatama Gandhi Memorial , Also visit Laxmi Narayan temple popularly known as Birla Temple. Night stay in Delhi.
17th July 2009 / Fri / Delhi - Jaipur (By air-conditioned train Dep 0610 Hrs Arr 1040 Hrs )
Early morning pick up from hotel & transfer to railway station to board the airconditioned train to Jaipur. Breakfast in the train. Arrive Jaipur and transfer to hotel. Later sight seeing tour of Jaipur covering:
CITY PALACE - A delightful blend of Mughal and traditional Rajasthani architecture, the City Palace sprawls over one-seventh of the area in the walled city. It houses the Chandra Mahal, Shri Govind Dev Temple and the City Palace Museum.
JANTAR MANTAR - This is the largest and the best preserved of the five observatories built by Jai Singh II in different parts of the country. This observatory consisting of outsized astronomical instruments is still in use.
HAWA MAHAL - The ornamental facade of this "Palace of Winds" is a prominent landmark in Jaipur. Their five-storey structures of sandstone plastered pink encrusted with fine trelliswork and elaborate balconies. The palace has 953 niches and windows. Built in 1799 by Pratap Singh, the Mahal was a royal grandstand for the palace women. Night stay in Jaipur.
18th July 2009 / Sat / Jaipur- Agra (By raod Approx. 5 Hrs. drive ) enroute visiting Fatehpur Sikri
Morning visit the majestic Amber Fort, is one that cannot be easily described. Ride up on Elephants to the former capital of the royals set against the backdrop of the wooded hills. Later drive to Agra enroute visiting Fatehpur Sikri-a perfectly preserved red sandstone “ghost town” which was the estranged capital of mughal emperor Akbar, built in 1569 and deserted when its water supply failed. Arrive Agra &transfer to hotel. Evening at leisure. Night stay in Agra.
19th July 2009 / Sun / Agra - Varanasi ( By overnight Train in air-conditioned sleeper class )
Morning at sunrise visit the magnificent Taj Mahal - one of the seven wonders of the world surely the most extravagant expression of love ever created. 20,000 men laboured for over 17 years to build this memorial to Shah Jahan's beloved wife, Also visit the Red fort - the rusty and majestic red- sandstone fort of Agra stands on the banks of the river Yamuna and the construction was started by Emperor Akbar in 1566. At the Diwan-I-Am (hall of public audience), a colonnaded hall of red-sandstone with a throne alcove of inlaid marble at the back, the Emperor heard public petitions. At the Diwan-I-Khas (hall of private audience) where marble pavilions with floral inlays lend an ethereal ambience, the Emperor sat on his gem-studded peacock Throne and met foreign ambassadors and rulers of friendly kingdoms. Later transfer to railway station to board the overnight train to Varanasi.
20th July 2009 / Mon / Varanasi
Arrive Varanasi, said to be the India's most sacred city situated on the western bank of the holy river Ganga. It is also the oldest living city in the world. As a place for devotion and worship, with hundreds of temples dotting the city, sunrise on the river front as seen from a boat can be a spiritually uplifting sight. It has a fascination uniquely its own, a quality of sublime beauty, a timeless eternal appeal. Varanasi is the city which cannot be described, only experienced. Meet assist at the railway station and transfer to hotel. Later sight seeing of Varanasi (the oldest and holiest city of India) covering Temples, Aurangazeb's Mosque and one of the biggest university of India. Evening view "Aarti" ceremony on the Ghats. Night stay in Varanasi.
21st July 2009 / Tue / Varanasi
Morning boat cruise at the river Ganges to observe the way of life of pilgrims by the Ghats. Later excursion to Sarnath, 10kms. East of Varanasi, is one of the Buddhism's major centers of India. After attaining enlightenment, the Buddha came to Sarnath where he gave his first sermon. Visit the deer park and the museum and later back to Varanasi. Night stay in Varanasi.
22nd July 2009 / Wed / Varanasi - Delhi ( By Flight )
Morning visit TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE 2009 - Rising early, we travel in a south east direction to a secluded spot of the Ganges. Here, beyond the city limits the Ganges riverbed is flat and wide with little vegetation allowing uninterrupted viewing of the sky. The absence of artificial lighting is also beneficial. Here we wait in awe, at approximately 05:30am the 1st phase of the Total Solar Eclipse will begin as the and the moon begins to creep over the sun, the sky will turn to a shade of deep red then dark purple, cobolt grey and eventually complete darkness will prevail at 06.24.
05.30am - Sunrise & the moon first touches the sun - start of the eclipse
06.24am - Start of totality. 06.27am - End of totality. Duration 03.02mins
07.27am - Moon is no longer visible on the sun - end of the eclipse
Later come back to hotel and after breakfast transfer to airport for flight to Delhi. Arrive Delhi & transfer to hotel. Night stay in Delhi.
23rd July 2009 / Thu / Departure
Transfer to airport for onward flight.