20 Days Music and Dance Tour of North India

20 Days Music and Dance Tour of North India

Duration: 20 Days

Places: New Delhi-Jaipur-Agra-Gwalior-Jhansi-Orchha-Khajuraho-Varanasi-Lucknow-New Delhi

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Tour Highlights

  • A visit to the workshops & shops in Delhi which make and sell Indian musical instruments (Chandni Chowk & Darya Ganj).
  • Visit the Dargah of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya to witness ‘Qawwali’ performance.
  • A visit to Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, to listen to ‘shabad kirtan’ (devotional hymns).
  • Visit Sangeet Natak Akademi’s ‘Gallery of Musical Instruments’.
  • Visit a school of Hindustani classical music - Rajasthan Sangeet Sansthan.
  • An interaction with an eminent Hindustani classical Musician at his house.
  • Visit Sarod Ghar – The Museum of an Indian instrument ‘Sarod’ – managed by the family of Ustad Amjad Ali Khan (the Sarod maestro).
  • Visit a Music school for an interactive session with a Sitar exponent Pandit Devbrat Mishra.
  • Visit a Music Academy to try hands on tabla under the watchful eyes of a Tabla teacher.
  • Visit the famous school of Hindustani classical music – Bhatkande Music Institute University.
  • An evening of exclusive performance of Kathak, Ghazal & Thumri
  • An exclusive Kathak Dance performance followed by dinner at The Khajurgaon Palace – the residence of the erstwhile Maharaja of Lucknow
  • Places:
  • ANew Delhi
  • BJaipur
  • CAgra
  • DGwalior
  • EJhansi
  • FOrchha
  • GKhajuraho
  • HVaranasi
  • ILucknow

Itinerary

  • Day 1 New Delhi
  • Day 2 New Delhi
  • Day 3 New Delhi
  • Day 4 New Delhi - Jaipur
  • Day 5 Jaipur
  • Day 6 Jaipur
  • Day 7 Jaipur - Agra
  • Day 8 Agra
  • Day 9 Agra - Gwalior
  • Day 10 Gwalior
  • Day 11 Gwalior - Jhansi - Orchha - Khajuraho
  • Day 12 Khajuraho
  • Day 13 Khajuraho - Varanasi
  • Day 14 Varanasi
  • Day 15 Varanasi
  • Day 16 Varanasi - Lucknow
  • Day 17 Lucknow
  • Day 18 Lucknow
  • Day 19 Lucknow - New Delhi
  • Day 20 New Delhi

Arrive in Delhi in the evening today. Following Customs, Immigration formalities and baggage collection, one of our Airport Representatives will meet you outside the Arrival Hall, after which you will be transferred into the city to your hotel for 03 nights stay.

Overnight at New Delhi

Proceed for sightseeing tour of Old Delhi using a local mode of transport – the cycle rickshaw! A Unique tour in specially designed cycle rickshaws that attempt to transport guests 400 years back in history through the vibrant narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi. We visit quaint bylanes and alleys full of life and colour which we would otherwise not be able to access. Along with visit to monuments such as the Jama Masjid we take you to Asia’s largest spice market, witness delightfully decorated shops, famous eateries, colourful bazaars, architectural marvels of Old Delhi. Hear interesting stories and live the sights and sounds bringing history back to life. (available from October to March).
Thereafter we will take you to a few workshops & shops in Delhi which make and sell Indian musical instruments (Chandni Chowk & Darya Ganj). In the afternoon we will take you to visit the Dargah of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya – a famous Sufi saint in the medieval times to witness ‘Qawwali’ performance (Qawwali is a musical prayer sung in a group accompanied by rhythmic claps). Heritage Walk in Delhi : Sufism, the Heart of Islam – Visit the historical Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti where you will be taken on a tour by a local resident of this 12th century village, that grew around the shrine of the Sufi saint Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya. After the visit to the Basti, you may want to go to the Dargarh and listen to Qawwali, which is a vibrant musical tradition that stretches back more than 700 years. Often listeners, and even artists themselves, are transported to a trance-like state where they feel at one with the Supreme.
Note: Thursday & Friday evenings are a sure bet for experiencing Qawwali at the Dargah of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya. Performance times are 6:00 – 7:30 PM and 9:00 – 10:30 PM. It can get quite crowded at the Dargah on Thursdays, so do mind yourself and your belongings. You cannot wear footwear inside – many shopkeepers will volunteer to keep these for you in return for a tip (not compulsory). But there is one just at entrance who will also give you a token as surety. Heads have to be covered inside except at the place where they perform the Qawwalis.

Overnight at New Delhi

Start the day with a visit to Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, where ‘shabad kirtan’ (devotional hymns) is sung almost the whole day. Shabad Kirtan – It is ‘kirtan-style’ singing of Shabads (devotional hymns) from Guru Granth Sahib, the holy text of Sikhism. It began in the 16th century as the musical expression of mystical poetry conceived by the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak. Following him, all the Sikh gurus sang in the then-prevalent classical and folk music styles, accompanied by stringed and percussion instruments. The style was where the text was of prime significance and the music played a supporting, albeit important, role. The Gurus specified the Raagas in which they sang each hymn in the Sikh sacred scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib.

Thereafter, proceed for a sightseeing tour of New Delhi. Drive past Sansad Bhawan (the Parliament House) and Rashtrapati Bhawan (the President’s House), the one-time Imperial Residence of the British Viceroys governing India. Then drive along the Rajpath past the Secretarial Buildings & Government Offices. Now visit India Gate for a photo-stop. It is a memorial raised in honour of the Indian soldiers martyred during all the wars till now starting from World War-I. At the end drive to South Delhi to visit Qutab Minar, the 12th century Tower of Victory built by a Slave King – Qutb-ud-din Aibak. It is a prototype of all Minars (towers) in India.In the afternoon visit Sangeet Natak Akademi which functions as the apex body of the performing arts in the country to preserve and promote the vast cultural heritage of India expressed in music, dance and drama. It also works with governments and art academies in states and territories of the country. The main attraction here is The Gallery of Musical Instruments (remains closed on Sundays & National holidays) – a museum-cumgallery of Indian musical instruments which has more than 200 musical instruments on display here.

Overnight at New Delhi

This morning we will drive you to Jaipur. The drive passes through the countryside with the highway winding its way past the hilly remnants of the Aravali Range. Upon arrival check in to your hotel for 03 nights stay. In the evening we will take you to Laxmi Narayan Temple (also called t he Birla temple) for the Evening Aarti. The temple is located on an elevated ground at the base of Moti Dungari Hill.

Overnight at Jaipur

the morning proceed for an excursion to Amber Fort. Construction of Amber Fort was started in the 17th century by Jaipur’s Maharaja Man Singh, Mughal Emperor Akbar’s most successful General. Before the City Palace was constructed in Jaipur, Amber was the seat of power. The Fort is surrounded by fortified battlements and overlooks the Moata Lake. Ruins and remains are spread over the Aravalli hills and sprawling crenulated walls lattice the surrounding area. An Elephant Ride from the base to the main gate will enhance your experience of reaching up to the Fort (if unavailable, this will be done by jeeps). Once you are on top, stroll through the sprawling complex of courtyards and halls. Many of the rooms have delightful wall paintings, with precious stones and mirrors inlaid in the walls. Most fascinating, perhaps, is the Sheesh Mahal (hall of mirrors) where a single lamplight is reflected in the many mirrors, lighting up the whole room. While returning to the city, we will have a photo-stop outside Hawa Mahal (the Palace of Winds). It is really an elaborate facade behind which the ladies of the court used to watch the daily goings on in the street below. It is extremely intricate in its pink sandstone carving. The cool wind blows through its facade of windows and latticed screens through which the queens of the court once viewed the streets of the city. In the afternoon visit a school of Hindustani classical music - Rajasthan Sangeet Sansthan. (Note: Prior permission will be required for a visit and it should be on working day. Visit will not be possible on National holidays and weekly off). Enjoy a Rajasthani folk dance performance during Dinner.

Overnight at Jaipur

Start the day with an interaction with an eminent Hindustani classical Musician at his house. (Note: Since these musicians regularly travel through India and the World giving concerts in different cities – we will need to check their schedules in advance for availability). In the afternoon proceed for city tour of Jaipur. Start from City Palace Museum which is an overwhelming complex of exquisite palaces, gardens and courtyards, decorative art and carved doorways. The palace museum houses collections of rare manuscripts, armoury, costumes, carpets and miniature paintings. Later visit Jantar Ma ntar (the Royal Astronomical Observatory) – the most famous of five observatories built by Sawai Jai Singh in India. Jai Singh was a great admirer of progresses and research made in the fields of science and technology, but he was passionate about astronomy.

Early in the evening we have arranged an interesting Heritage walk for you in Jaipur - Temples and Havelis of Old Jaipur – Join this exciting walking tour of Jaipur; a unique way to explore the living traditions of the city. Experience the religious life of local communities by visiting colorful temples, interact with residents over tea and snacks in their home and discover some of the architectural wonders of this fascinating aspect of Jaipur. This walk has been carefully designed to offer a rewarding and enriching experience for our guests. Uncovering some of the best kept secrets of the walled city of Jaipur we take pride in sharing a warm association with the resident artisans, shop owners, temple priests and local citizens. This association makes our walking tours more engaging; our clients have a genuinely interactive experience getting to meet the residents and as a result gain an insight into traditional ways of life.

Overnight at Jaipur

This morning we will drive you to Jaipur, stopping enroute at Fatehpur Sikri (38 km from Agra) for sightseeing of the abandoned capital of the Mughal Empire. Fatehpur Sikri – This magnificently fortified capital of the Mughal Empire was built by Emperor Akbar in year 1569 AD however was abandoned 15 years later, allegedly due to severe scarcity of water here. The monument complex which is a ‘World Heritage Site’ now
houses graceful buildings within such as the Jami Masjid, the Tomb of Sufi Saint Salim Chisti, Panch Mahal, Diwan-i-Khas and other palaces. Anup Talao located in the front of Khwabgah in Fatehpur Sikri was one of the most mentioned tanks at Fatehpur Sikri. It is said that Mian Tansen used to present musical concerts for Emperor Akbar sitting on a platform right in the centre of this tank. Mian Tansen is considered to be the greatest composer-musicians in Hindustani classical music. He was an extraordinarily gifted vocalist known for a large number of compositions and also an instrumentalist who popularized and improved the rabab (a string instrument of Central Asia). He was among the Navaratnas (Nine Jewels) in the court of Mughal Emperor Akbar, who had conferred the title Mian (an honorific meaning learned man) to Tansen. His contribution to the world of Indian music is priceless. He is still worshiped by leading singers and composers of Hindustani classical music. During his lifetime he had composed many Ragas* which are popular till date. The legend says when he used to sing
Raga ‘Deepak’, the oil lamps used to get lit on their own ! And when he used to sing Raga ‘Megh Malhaar’, it used to start raining all of a sudden ! *A Raaga is one of the melodic modes used in Hindustani classical music. A raga uses a series of five or more musical notes upon which a melody is constructed The Tomb of Sufi Saint Salim Chisti is considered to be a holy place by the local people who visit it in large numbers to offer their prayers. On Thursdays, Qawwalis are sung by group of singers in front of the sacred Dargah. Optional : A special session of Qawwali can be organized for you (on any day) in front of the Dargah of Sufi Saint Salim Chisti. After getting over with the sightseeing of Fatehpur Sikri drive on to Agra. Upon arrival check in to your hotel for 02 nights stay.

Overnight at Agra

Proceed for sightseeing of Taj Mahal (closed on Fridays) and Agra Fort in the morning today. Enjoy a short ride on a Tonga (horse-driven carriage) followed by a ride in the pollution-free battery bus on the way to Taj Mahal. Taj Mahal is everything that has been said about it and more. Taking 22 years and 20,000 men to build, the white marble was quarried 200 miles away and was transported to the site by a fleet of 1000 elephants. Built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as an expression of his love for his wife Mumtaz Mahal, in mid 17th century, the Taj Mahal is truly one of the wonders of the world. Though the Taj appears to be amazingly perfect from almost any angle, it is the close-up marble inlay work, which is really astounding. You will have ample time to view and be mesmerized by this outstanding piece of architecture.

Agra Fort was the seat and the stronghold of the Mughal Empire under successive generations. This was the seat of Mughal rule and administration and the present structure owes its origins to Akbar who erected the walls and gates and the first buildings on the eastern banks of Yamuna River. Shah Jehan added the impressive quarters and the mosque while Aurangzeb added the outer ramparts. Visit its Hall of Public Audience and its Royal Pavilions. In the afternoon we have arranged a Heritage walk in Old Agra for you to observe the city
from close quarters - Old Agra: The Road Not Taken – Very few travelers ever visit the older part of Agra what was once an important trading center of the Imperial capital of the Mughals known for its abundant consumption of commodities and giving gifts on a large scale. An early seventeenth century Persian poem translated Persian scholar Sunil Sharma talks about the flourishing city of Agra: “…the entire capital from seas and mines is put in the shop of one merchant. If there is a buyer, a hundred caravan- loads come out of one shop of his.” After your tour of the Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort, we will take a Rickshaw or Tonga ride to Old Agra to explore hidden alleys. As you enter the lanes of Old Agra you will get to peep inside shops, temples and lives of people to relive the life and times of a city that has an enduring history that predates and goes beyond the glorious era of the Taj Mahal, where it was a prosperous mercantile town during late-Mughal and days of the British Raj.

Overnight at Agra

We will transfer you to Agra Cantt Railway Station early in the morning today to board a train to Gwalior. Agra Cantt – Gwalior by Bhopal Shatabdi Express Departure Agra Cantt : 0811 hrs & Arrival Gwalior : 0923 hrs. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel for 2nights stay.Gwalior – The City of Gwalior is famous as an ancient seat of culture with a colourful history going back to the 6th century. A multitude of reigning dynasties, of the great Rajput clans of the Pratiharas, Kachhwahas and Tomars have left indelible etchings of their rule in this city of palaces, temples and monuments. Gwalior's tradition as a royal capital continued until the formation of present day India, with the Scindias having their dynastic seat here. The magnificent mementoes of a glorious past have been preserved with care, giving Gwalior an appeal unique and timeless. Due to its location in the heart of India it has been a melting pot of cultures and civilizations. This synthesis has manifested itself in a highly developed musical tradition reaching a peak during the reign of Emperor Man Singh Tomar in the early 16th century. Mian Tansen, perhaps the best known vocalist of all times was born in Gwalior in 1606, reaching the pinnacle of frame in the court of Mughal Emperor Akbar.
After check in at the hotel and a brief refreshment, proceed for sightseeing tour of Gwalior. Visit the magnificent Gwalior Fort, built in the 8th century AD by the Rajputs. It is also famous for its riot of blue and yellow glazed tile work on the walls of the Fort, only some of which is left intact now. Within the fort are some marvels of medieval architecture. The 15th century Gurjari Mahal is a monument which was built by Raja Mansingh Tomar to express his love for his Gurjar queen, Mrignayani. After he had wooed and won her, so the story goes, Mrignayani demanded that he build her a separate palace with a constant water supply from the River Rai, via an aqueduct. The outer structure of the Gurjari Mahal has survived in an almost total state of preservation; the interior has been converted into an Archaeological Museum. Then visit Sas Bahu ka Mandir, located on the eastern edge of the Fort having a unique blend of medieval architectural styles. Drive past The Scindia School–Gwalior, a residential school of national repute run by the Royal family of Gwalior. Visit a historical Gurudwara inside the Fort which is known as ‘Data Bandi Chhor Sahib’ built in the memory of 6th Sikh Guru (Sri Guru Hargobind ji). Here one can hear ‘shabad kirtan’ (devotional hymns) being sung by the Raagis in the morning and evening (timings to be checked before the scheduled visit). In the afternoon visit Jai Vilas Palace – a European style Palace where the Royal family of Scindias currently resides; part of it has been converted into museum and is open to general public. It has a unique architecture which is a mix of Italian, Tuscan and Corinthian. The Palace was constructed by Maharaja Jiyaji Rao Scindia in 1874 at a cost of Rs. One Crore and is festooned with furniture from Versailles, Italy and France. In the evening enjoy the Sound & Light show at Gwalior Fort organized by MP Tourism.

Overnight at Gwalior

This morning we will take you to see the Tomb of Ghaus Mohammed and adjacent grave of Mian Tansen – the great singer in the court of Mughal Emperor Akbar. The Tomb of Ghaus Mohammed – This is a tomb of a 16th century Afghan prince turned sufi saint Ghaus Muhammad who helped Babur (the first Mughal Emperor) to win over fort of Gwalior waging a war for it. The mausoleum exhibits typical Mughal architecture with its hexagonal pillars and screens using pierced stone technique. Located in the same compound is the grave of Mian Tansen, who was one of his disciples for some time.
Mian Tansen’s grave – This famous Hindustani classical musician in the court of the Mughal Emperor Akbar was buried in the mausoleum complex of his Sufi master Shaikh Muhammad Ghaus in Gwalior. His grave has pristine simplicity about it. More than a monument, it is part of Gwalior's living cultural heritage, being the venue of a Music Festival in his name – ‘Tansen Sangeet Samaroh’ held annually on a national scale in November – December. Leading musicians of the country gather here to give musical performances during the festival.
In the afternoon visit Sarod Ghar – The Museum of an Indian instrument ‘Sarod’. It is a unique institution, under the aegis of Haafiz Ali Khan Memorial Trust, devoted in promotion of Indian classical music, heritage and culture. The aim of this institution is to create awareness and respect for Indian classical music, Indian musician and the variety of indian instruments of India. Through this 'window' to the past, music lovers can gain a better understanding of the evolution and history of Hindustani classical music (North Indian classical music) and can get a deeper perspective and insight into the context of the art as it exists today. The Museum houses a collection of old and contemporary instruments, belonging to great and illustrious musicians of the past, on which they pursued their practice. Their immortality is thus enshrined in this institution.

Overnight at Gwalior

In the morning you will be taken to Gwalior Railway Station to board a train to Jhansi.  Gwalior – Jhansi by Bhopal Shatabdi Express - Departure Gwalior : 0928 hrs & Arrival Jhansi : 1045 hrs. Upon arrival, drive to Orchha which is a short drive of 20 kms into the countryside.  Orchha is a city frozen in time. It was founded in the 16th century by the Bundela chieftain, Rudra Pratap Singh, who built this new capital on large wooded islands on the River Betwa. Today, remains of the fort and palaces speak eloquently of Orchha's time of glory, of its splendid legacy of art and culture. Though little more than a village today, stepping back in time, into Orchha's fortress and palaces is an enjoyable experience. 

Upon arrival from Jhansi Railway Station proceed for a sightseeing tour of Orchha. Places of interest in Orchha include the multi-tiered Jehangiri Mahal, within the fort, built in 1606; the Raj Mahal noted for its fine murals and the Rai Praveen Mahal, a palace set in the gardens of Anand Mahal. Orchha has tall-spired temples that are certainly worth visit. Notable among them are the Ram Raja Temple, Laxmi Narayana Temple with its exuberant frescoes, and the Chaturbhuj Temple. In the afternoon drive to Khajuraho – which is famous for the magnificently carved temples that are considered the pinnacle of the temple architecture in North India. Upon arrival, check in to your hotel for 2 nights stay.

Overnight at Khajuraho

This morning we will proceed for a sightseeing tour of Western & Eastern Group of Temples. The tour of Khajuraho concentrates on the famous temples, which represent some of the finest examples of temple architecture in Northern India. They were built during the mighty Chandela dynasty; most of them were constructed in period of creative and religious rejuvenation, between the mid-10th and 11th centuries. After ruling for about 500 years the Chandela dynasty fell to the might of Islam and consequently the religious centre of Khajuraho was abandoned. The temples remain as a reminder of a society that believed in the full enjoyment of life with all the senses being a path to nirvana. Of the 85 original temples only 22 remain, but many are in very good condition. Visit the Kandariya Mahadeva, the Chatrabhuj, Parswanath and Ghantai Temples, each remarkable for its beautiful design and architecture.

Overnight at Khajuraho

Morning is at leisure for you to relax at the hotel. During the day we will transfer you to Khajuraho Airport in time to board a flight to Varanasi.
Khajuraho – Varanasi by Flight 9W K 2424 Depart Khajuraho : 1345 hrs & Arrive Varanasi : 1435 hrs. Upon arrival you will be transferred to your hotel for 3 nights stay. In the evening visit Dashashwamedh Ghat to see the Evening Aarti which is a musical ceremony performed to Goddess Ganga (river). It is a spectacular sight where hundreds of devotees throng the ghats to participate in this ceremony to worship holy river Ganga. Offerings of tiny oil lamps and flowers are made to the river at the end of this ceremony and it is a moving sight to watch hundreds of miniature lamps floating along with the flow of the river.

Overnight at Varanasi

Early in the morning proceed for a boat-ride in holy river Ganges at sunrise. During the two-hour ride enjoy a Flute Recital on board the boat which will have an accompaniment of Sitar & Tabla. Return to the hotel for breakfast after the boat-ride. During the day we will take you to ‘Bharat Kala Bhavan’ which lies within the sprawling premises of Benaras Hindu University. Its outstanding collection of sculpture, paintings and textiles began with the private collection of the enlightened Rai Krishnadasa. The sculpture collection includes terracotta and clay objects, stone and bronze and cast metal objects. Ancient terracotta varying from ritual icons to toys to utilitarian objects date to the Indus Valley Civilization, Mauryan, Sunga and Gupta period. In the afternoon we will take you to a Music School for an interactive session (3 - 4 hrs) with a Sitar exponent Pandit Devbrat Mishra for a performance of Sitar accompanied by Tabla. Later have a question-answer session with him on Hindustani classical music followed by an interaction with the students of Indian classical music.

Overnight at Varanasi

This morning we will take you to a Yoga Center where you will be taught to do various ‘Asanas’ with meditative Indian music in the background. After breakfast proceed for an excursion to Sarnath, one of the major Buddhist Centers in the World. Having achieving enlightenment at Bodhgaya, Buddha (the 'Awakened One') delivered his first sermon here. It was the 6th century then, when he also set in motion the Wheel of Law – the Dharma Chakra. Being a dwelling place of the rishis, sit was also known as 'Rishipatana' (the place of the Rishis or sages). Buddha gave his first sermon in the Deer Park where he initiated his first five disciples into Buddhist monkshood. In the afternoon again proceed to a Music Academy where the enthusiasts can try their hands on tabla in the watchful eyes of a Tabla teacher.

Overnight at Varanasi

Morning is at leisure for you to relax at the hotel. During the day we will transfer you to Khajuraho Airport in time to board a flight to Varanasi.
Varanasi – Lucknow by Train 13005 Howrah – Amritsar Mail, Depart Varanasi : 0927 hrs & Arrive Lucknow : 1520 hrs. Upon arrival you will be transferred to your hotel for 3 nights stay. Lucknow – The capital of Uttar Pradesh rose to prominence as the centre of the Nawabs of Avadh. These decadent Muslim rulers, also known as the Nawabs of Oudh controlled a region of north-central India for about a century. Most of the Avadh rulers were hopeless at running the affairs of state however they were great patrons of the arts, especially dance and music and Lucknow’s reputation as a city of culture and gracious living stems from this time.

Overnight at Lucknow

In the morning we will take you for a visit to one of the famous Music schools of Hindustani classical music – Bhatkande Music Institute University. It is famous for imparting traditional music education and training. Visit the campus and have an interaction with students of Hindustani classical music. (Note: Special permission is required to take Foreign visitors inside the campus. We need to forward the profile of the Group to get permission for this visit. Also note that the group should not be a ‘general interest’ group. It should have some link with the subject of dance and music). In the afternoon proceed for a Heritage Walk in Lucknow. Lucknow is not just any other city, but a chapter that folds and unfolds itself each time one visits this epicenter of culture. At Sita we have exclusively designed a Heritage Walk for you, taking you into the lanes and by-lanes of Chowk, exploring the unexplored and explaining how vast a history this city of superlatives holds. They say each building in the old city has an anecdote and a gamut of tales connected to it, our expert 'Heritage Guides' take you into the bygone era of this city that is a world unto itself. (Note : The Heritage Walk does not operate on Thursdays). An evening of exclusive performance of Kathak, Ghazal & Thumri will be set up for you. This will be interpreted and well explained to the guests by experts.

Overnight at Lucknow

In the morning proceed for an exciting city tour of Lucknow. Driving past Sadat Ali & Begum Tombs and the Chatar Manzil (outside view only), we reach the world’s most unique architecture, Asifi Imambara. This monument was built as a relief measure for a devastating famine, in order to provide employment to the subjects of the state by Nawab Asif-ud-Daula'. This is the world’s biggest hall that is devoid of any pillar support, wood, iron beams or concrete walls. Salute the “Nawab” (Prince) lying in peace inside and proceed to see his noble work. Also see the Rumi Darwaza or the Turkish Gate and the Asfi Mosque. Tongas (horse driven passenger carriages) wait to welcome you on board when you come out of this grand complex. On the bumpy ride of this transport system of yesteryears we reach the Husainabad Complex - The Clock Tower is the highest Clock Tower in Asia and in some ways superior to its counterpart, 'Big Ben'. Today the clock stands motionless but has witnessed all times, the good, the bad and the ugly. Now enter the Babylon of East, The Husainabad Imambara – known for its beauty and pieces of décor. This was built in 1840 by Mohammad Ali Shah and is still considered to be a sacred address by the natives. The beautiful chandeliers, silver seat, sandalwood décor and calligraphy on the walls all are so creative. In the afternoon we will arrange a visit to Begum Akhtar's grave. (Optional : We can arrange a live performance by an artist presenting her Thumris & Ghazals. This can be followed by a walk to an array of shops in the market that sell Indian musical instruments). This evening we have arranged an exclusive Kathak Dance performance followed by dinner at The Khajurgaon Palace – the residence of the erstwhile Maharaja of Lucknow. Interact with Raja Amresh Kumar Singh’s family at Khajurgaon to understand Lucknow’s Hindu royalty that existed even before the Nawabs came in; co-existed during the Nawabs and exists even today. Khajurgaon is the oldest Taluqdar estate of the erstwhile Avadh province. It is the only royal family that had been given the ‘Rana’ title in the Avadh region. This is one of the seven palaces owned by the family that remains in their possession in perfect condition and is being used to live by Raja Amresh Kumar Singh. The family of Raja Amresh Singh is well-educated, socially interactive and love to have guests
over to their palace for dinners.

Overnight at Lucknow

Morning is at leisure for you. In the afternoon we will transfer you to the Airport to board a flight to Delhi. Lucknow – Delhi by Flight 9W K 7075
Depart Lucknow : 1455 hrs & Arrive Delhi : 1600 hrs. Upon arrival you will be transferred to an Airport Hotel for Day -use accommodation. Late in the evening today one of our Airport Representative will transfer you to the International Airport to board your flight for onward journey.

After some rest at airport hotel get transferred to New Delhi international airport to board your onward international flight towards your native place. Tour Ends With Sweet Memories...!!!

Accomodations

  • Opulent
  • Luxury
  • Economy
  • New Delhi – The Oberoi
  • Jaipur – The Oberoi Rajvilas
  • Agra – The Oberoi Amarvilas
  • Gwalior – Usha Kiran Palace
  • Khajuraho – The Lalit Temple View
  • Varanasi – The Nadesar Palace
  • Lucknow – Vivanta by Taj - Gomti Nagar

New Delhi – The Oberoi

Stay in style and treasure every moment of your stay with Oberoi hotels in Delhi. With the rich magnificent interiors and warm style of welcoming guests makes it one of the one of the finest hotels in India. Both comfort and convenience falls at your feet when you stay in heart of city and with just 45 minutes’ drive to the airport. You are just one call away to be benefited with personal Butler service at any point of the day! Come celebrate your stay with Oberoi hotels and get the best of it.

Jaipur – The Oberoi Rajvilas

The Oberoi Rajvilas, flaunts the rich culture and tradition of Jaipur in the magnificent walls of this ancient fort. Every wall and the paintings in Oberoi Rajvilas define the ancient tradition which is well preserved by Rajasthan. Guests are impressed with its 280-year-old Shiva temple and a Rajasthani haveli well preserved on the premises of the hotel. There can’t be any other better proof to prove its love for rich Rajasthan culture. The highlight is the Ayurvedic and Western therapies provided to completely mesmerize you in the ancient haveli!

Agra – The Oberoi Amarvilas

Stay with Oberoi Amarvillas to witness the greatest love story of India in form of Taj Mahal. Feel like a Mughal emperor with its impressive architecture with its terraced lawns, fountains, reflection pools and the royal interiors. Ranked as the leading hotels in the world, it ensures all the relaxation amenities like health clubs, beauty sessions to yoga rooms for both body and soul relaxation. Fulfill your appetite with the lavish Indian and international delicacies. One of best creation of Oberoi Groups, Oberoi Amarvillas makes your stay wonderful in Agra.

Gwalior – Usha Kiran Palace

Come for a real holiday with 9 acres of superbly landscaped gardens and embrace yourself in the beauty of Usha Kiran Palace with its finest and delicate carving. This is probably 120 years old belonging to King of England, converting itself into luxury, spacious and comfortable rooms. You surely can’t hold back yourself from the Continental, Asian & Indian delicacies complemented by an impressive wine list which is one of the highlight of Usha Kiran Palace! Hotel Category: Luxury Heritage

Khajuraho – The Lalit Temple View

The Latit has been ranked among the top 5 top hotels in India. It is the most user friendly hotel making travelling very convenient and enjoyable for the guests. Considering Khajuraho airport, it is just seven minutes’ drive from the the hotel. If Khajuraho station is your destination, then you can easily reach station in 10 minutes from The Lalit. To add more excitement to your trip, do visit Raneh Waterfall, Pandav Waterfall, Panna National Park which are very close by from the hotel. Surely a must stay hotel when you visit Khajuraho!

Varanasi – The Nadesar Palace

Get ready to spoil yourself with the royal treatment you will get with Nadesar Palace in Varanasi. Nadesar Palace is one of the most beautiful stay in Varanasi with its lovely surroundings, nice pool, spacious rooms, good food and a nice bar making it a perfect holiday. Surely it’s one of the best luxury hotels of Varanasi making it an unforgettable and best experience. Hotel Category: Luxury Heritage

Lucknow – Vivanta by Taj - Gomti Nagar

Drive in from the airport delighting in backseat surprises (we're not revealing here). Hotel lobby is a unique mix of chic and classic. Graceful pillars make a stylish presence. With a dramatic dome. And a mariner's brass compass in the grand lobby space. This arrival zone sets the tone for guestrooms and banquet facilities that deliver the ultimate in urban relaxation. Get set to be delighted with small surprises from the moment you enter.

  • New Delhi – The Claridges
  • Jaipur – Tree of Life
  • Agra – Clarks Shiraz Agra Hotel
  • Agra – Trident
  • Gwalior – Usha Kiran Palace
  • Khajuraho – Taj Chandela
  • Varanasi – Taj Ganges Gateway
  • Lucknow – Vivanta by Taj - Gomti Nagar

New Delhi – The Claridges

Feel of Indian tradition and the warmness in welcoming with Indian culture is surely attracts you to stay in The Claridges, Delhi. The rooms are designed by great mastermind to maintain the royalty of the rooms. Along with the well-designed and spacious rooms, all the amenities are as well ensured to make it an enjoyable stay for the guests. Get ready to fall in love with view of greenery and beautiful flora all around you! Experience a truly pleasurable stay with The Claridges.

Jaipur – Tree of Life

Style, beauty, and leisure truly describe Tree of life, Jaipur. Its unbeatable architectural style used by the mastermind takes you back to the ancient times attracting many guests from different parts of world every year to Tree of life. From business dinners, family dinners to romantic all are in safe hands with Tree and life, providing you the complete comfort and privacy to make it the most special evening. Get ready to get indulge in the beauty of Tree of life.

Agra – Clarks Shiraz Agra Hotel

Clarks Shiraz Agra is a 4 star hotel and has got fantastic location near Taj Mahal. The hotel has a multi cuisine restaurant, Gymnasium, Swimming pool and host of other amenities for the discerning traveller.

Agra – Trident

Great ambience, beautiful gardens, excellent views of the fountains all around you are the highlights of Trident, Agra. You will surely be driven to the era of Mughals with the Mughal style architecture made in your room stay. Not only this, you can also experience the heritage theater right at back of the hotel which is very accessible. Trident ensures that you get the best of delicacies prepared by the expert chefs along with the perfect hospitality. Staying in Trident is a surely a treat!

Gwalior – Usha Kiran Palace

Come for a real holiday with 9 acres of superbly landscaped gardens and embrace yourself in the beauty of Usha Kiran Palace with its finest and delicate carving. This is probably 120 years old belonging to King of England, converting itself into luxury, spacious and comfortable rooms. You surely can’t hold back yourself from the Continental, Asian & Indian delicacies complemented by an impressive wine list which is one of the highlight of Usha Kiran Palace! Hotel Category: Luxury Heritage

Khajuraho – Taj Chandela

If you planning to visit Khajuraho temples, Panna National Park Tiger Reserve, then Taj Khajuraho is the best place to make a visit to these wonderful places. Taj Khajuraho offers you an enjoyable stay with a lovely pool at the rear of the hotel, with inviting sunbeds. The hotel is very clean along with welcoming, accommodating and charming staff who makes you feel very special in this luxury hotel. Your holiday will turn out to be a much lifetime experience with the amazing service by the hotel staff, great food and top class amenities!

Varanasi – Taj Ganges Gateway

Taj Gateway Ganges is definitely gateway to luxury and calmness in the midst of chaos.it has maintained the Taj standards with its great service, delicious food and beautiful surroundings. Taj Gateway Ganges understands that different people have different reasons of their stay varying from business meetings, leisure visit or family stays. Depending on this it provides luxury services like swimming pool, fitness center and business center to ensure that guests have these facilities whenever they require it. Taj Gateway Ganges makes it a pleasant stay in Varanasi.

Lucknow – Vivanta by Taj - Gomti Nagar

Drive in from the airport delighting in backseat surprises (we're not revealing here). Hotel lobby is a unique mix of chic and classic. Graceful pillars make a stylish presence. With a dramatic dome. And a mariner's brass compass in the grand lobby space. This arrival zone sets the tone for guestrooms and banquet facilities that deliver the ultimate in urban relaxation. Get set to be delighted with small surprises from the moment you enter.

  • New Delhi – Colonel Retreat
  • Jaipur – Barwara Kothi
  • Gwalior – Gwalior – Usha Kiran Palace
  • Khajuraho – Khajuraho – Taj Chandela
  • Varanasi – Varanasi – Taj Ganges Gateway
  • Lucknow – The Grand JBR

New Delhi – Colonel Retreat

Looking for a homely stay in Delhi? Then you search ends here with the Colonel Retreat which makes you feel like second home! One of the highlight of Colonel Retreat is Indian homemade breakfast which includes homemade jams, banana bread and stuffed parathas served with homemade hot pickle which can be enjoyed sitting right in your terrace. It is located in the defense colony thus ensuring your privacy as well as safety. So allow us to welcome to the favorite hotel to experience simplicity as well as relaxation.

Jaipur – Barwara Kothi

The most comfortable homestay in Jaipur is Barawara Kothi where you can experience the excellent homely stay. Helpful staff well maintained home, homely food and rich architecture impresses you and makes it a very relaxing stay. This homestay ensures that its guests are facilitated with clean rooms, with various delicacies served by the courteous staffs available always in service .Truly paradise in Jaipur!

Gwalior – Gwalior – Usha Kiran Palace

Come for a real holiday with 9 acres of superbly landscaped gardens and embrace yourself in the beauty of Usha Kiran Palace with its finest and delicate carving. This is probably 120 years old belonging to King of England, converting itself into luxury, spacious and comfortable rooms. You surely can’t hold back yourself from the Continental, Asian & Indian delicacies complemented by an impressive wine list which is one of the highlight of Usha Kiran Palace!

Khajuraho – Khajuraho – Taj Chandela

If you planning to visit Khajuraho temples, Panna National Park Tiger Reserve, then Taj Khajuraho is the best place to make a visit to these wonderful places. Taj Khajuraho offers you an enjoyable stay with a lovely pool at the rear of the hotel, with inviting sunbeds. The hotel is very clean along with welcoming, accommodating and charming staff who makes you feel very special in this luxury hotel. Your holiday will turn out to be a much lifetime experience with the amazing service by the hotel staff, great food and top class amenities!

Varanasi – Varanasi – Taj Ganges Gateway

Taj Gateway Ganges is definitely gateway to luxury and calmness in the midst of chaos.it has maintained the Taj standards with its great service, delicious food and beautiful surroundings. Taj Gateway Ganges understands that different people have different reasons of their stay varying from business meetings, leisure visit or family stays. Depending on this it provides luxury services like swimming pool, fitness center and business center to ensure that guests have these facilities whenever they require it. Taj Gateway Ganges makes it a pleasant stay in Varanasi.

Lucknow – The Grand JBR

Stands Lucknow’s new symbol of hospitality – The Grand JBR, offering the best for the business traveller as well as the leisure traveller, it has spacious, handsomely appointed rooms and suites. Extensive, state-of-the art banqueting facilities make your business conferences and other special occasions memorable experiences. To pamper your palate there are several dining facilities designed to caster to the gourmet in you.

Pricing And Availability

  • Opulent
  • Luxury
  • Economy
Place Hotel
New Delhi The Oberoi
Jaipur The Oberoi Rajvilas
Agra The Oberoi Amarvilas
Gwalior Usha Kiran Palace
Khajuraho The Lalit Temple View
Varanasi The Nadesar Palace
Lucknow Vivanta by Taj - Gomti Nagar
Period - Opulent Price per person
01 Oct 2015 – 15 Apr 2016 For prices contact us
16 Apr 2016 – 30 Sep 2016 For prices contact us
01 Oct 2016 – 30 Mar 2017 For prices contact us

Price may be higher during New year period ( 20 Dec - 5 Jan)

Place Hotel
New Delhi The Claridges
Jaipur Tree of Life
Agra Clarks Shiraz Agra Hotel
Agra Trident
Gwalior Usha Kiran Palace
Khajuraho Taj Chandela
Varanasi Taj Ganges Gateway
Lucknow Vivanta by Taj - Gomti Nagar
Period - Luxury Price per person
01 Oct 2015 – 15 Apr 2016 For prices contact us
16 Apr 2016 – 30 Sep 2016 For prices contact us
01 Oct 2016 – 30 Mar 2017 For prices contact us

Price may be higher during New year period ( 20 Dec - 5 Jan)

Place Hotel
New Delhi Colonel Retreat
Jaipur Barwara Kothi
Gwalior Gwalior – Usha Kiran Palace
Khajuraho Khajuraho – Taj Chandela
Varanasi Varanasi – Taj Ganges Gateway
Lucknow The Grand JBR
Period - Economy Price per person
01 Oct 2015 – 15 Apr 2016 For prices contact us
16 Apr 2016 – 30 Sep 2016 For prices contact us
01 Oct 2016 – 30 Mar 2017 For prices contact us

Price may be higher during New year period ( 20 Dec - 5 Jan)

Bespoke India Holidays Value Includes

  • Accommodation in above mentioned hotels with daily breakfast
  • All sightseeing as per the itinerary.
  • All entrances charges in monuments
  • Cycle Rickshaw ride in Old Delhi and Tonga ride in Agra
  • All transfers including airport transfers by an AC Car (For Opulent and Luxury option larges cares and for premium option a Tata Indigo sedan)
  • All internal air transfers ( Khajuraho – Varanasi) (Lucknow - New Delhi)
  • All internal rail transfers by AC class (Agra - Gwalior) (Gwalior - Jhansi) (Varanasi - Lucknow)
  • 25% discount on Spa treatment in all Oberoi Hotels (Opulent option)
  • Elephant/ Jeep ride in Jaipur
  • Light & Sound show in Gwalior & Khajuraho.
  • Visit Laxmi Narayan Temple for the Evening Aarti.
  • Enjoy a Rajasthani folk dance performance during Dinner.
  • Visit Dashashwamedh Ghat to see the Evening Aarti which is a musical ceremony performed to Goddess Ganga (river).
  • Early morning boat-ride in river Ganges with a Flute Recital on board the boat with accompaniment of Sitar & Tabla.
  • 2 Mineral Water bottles per person per day
  • All taxes

Bespoke India Holidays Specials

Travelling with Bespoke India Holidays ensures a memorable and hassle free experience with following specials

  • Two Special lunches (One in New Delhi and other in Jaipur)
  • Highly responsive 24x7 support during the tour
  • High quality personally handpicked local guides at all places that are government approved
  • Courteous chauffeur at your service for the tour
  • Special assistance in each city for smooth check-ins

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