Classical India Tour with Kathmandu
Day 01: Kathmandu Durbar Square, Swayambhunath and Pashupatinath
On the first day, you will see the Kathmandu Durbar Square, Pashupatinath temple and the Swayambhunath.
Kathmandu Durbar Square:
In Kathmandu Durbar squares, you can see over a dozen different pagoda style temples, the seat of Kathmandu kings of Nepal, the Kumari – known as the living goddess, and several other monuments. It is called Durbar Square because this area used to be the palace and administrative hub of the Malla kings in the 14-18th centuries. It has a museum, several temples filled with impressive architecture and sculpture.
In the south-western part of the square, there is Kasthamandap temple, from which Kathmandu derived its name. It's a huge wooden temple. Yet, there is a belief that the entire temple was built from the wood of a single tree.
In the southern part of the square, there is Kumari Ghar, the abode of living goddess Kumari.
In eastern of the square there is the Hanumandhoka museum and the former palace. At the central lies the Taleju temple, abode of the family deity of the Malla kings.
Swayambhunath lies in the west of Kathmandu durbar square. It is a Bouddha stupa perched on a hillock. The way to the temple is a steep uphill climb that will keep you panting for breath. Yet, you will be relieved with the great view of the Kathmandu valley once you reach the top. Swaymbhunath is a common deity of both Hindus and the Buddhists. Along with the Buddha stupa at the centre, there are many smaller temples of Hindu deities in the premises.
Pashupatinath is a greatly revered deity of the Hindus. The temple is located at the banks of Bagmati river in the north-eastern part of Kathmandu. Pashupatinath is the name of lord Shiva or lord Mahadeva, one of the three major deities of Hindus. Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu is considered a very holy place and hundreds of thousands of devotees make pilgrimage to the temple every year.
There is a main temple with four entrances, and a golden pagoda type roof guarded by Lord Shiva's vehicle Nandi (the bull) at the centre and several other temples in the periphery. There are at over two dozen temples in both the sides of the river Bagmati all of which have their own significance.
Another attraction of the Pashupatinath temple is its eccentric babas (Hindu sages). While some of the babas stay at Pashupati almost round the year, many babas throng Pashupati from various places at the time of Shivaratri.
Day 02: Transfer to airport for Varanasi flight. Arrive Varanasi & transfer to Hotel.
Day 03: Early morning boat excursion on the river Ganges, a ferry pilgrimage from ghat to ghat. People bathe early in the morning to offer the prayers to the rising sun. The two cremation ghats are Manikarnika & Harishchandra where funeral pyre burns day and night. Every pious Hindu believes that to die in Kashi and to be cremated on banks of the Ganges is to attain release from the cycle of birth and death.
Day free. Check-out.
Evening transfer to rail station for Tundla (Agra) night train.
Night on board.
Morning arrive Agra and transfer to Hotel.
Afternoon visit the world famous Taj Mahal built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1630 for his Queen Mumtaz Mahal to enshrine her mortal remains. Later visit the Agra Fort containing the Pearl Mosque, the Halls of Public and Private Audience. Also visit the Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah built by Empress Nur Jahan in memory of her father.
Drive to Jaipur visiting Fatehpur Sikri enroute.
Fatehpur Sikri is 40 kms from Agra and built by Emperor Akbar in 1569 and abandoned after 15 years due to scarcity of water. See the graceful buildings including the Jama Masjid, Tomb of Salim Chishti, Panch Mahal and other Palaces.
Morning visit Amber Fort.
Amber Fort was the ancient capital of the State. Visit the Sheesh Mahal or the Hall of Victory glittering with mirrors. Ascend the Fort on Elephant back.
Afternoon tour of Jaipur.
Jaipur: the capital of Rajasthan was given a colour coat of pink a century ago in honour of a visiting Prince and ever since, it has retained this colour. Built by Maharaja Jai Singh, the notable astronomer, this city is 260 years old. Visit Maharaja's City Palace, the Observatory & Ram Niwas Gardens. Drive past Hawa Mahal & through the pink rose residential & business areas.
Day 8: Drive to Delhi.
Morning tour of Delhi visiting Raj Ghat and Shanti Vana - the cremation sites of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, Jama Masjid and drive past Red Fort and Chandni Chowk.
Afternoon visit Qutub Minar built by Qutub-ud-Din Aibek in 1199, Humayun's Tomb, India Gate (War Memorial Arch), Lakshminarayan Temple - a modern Hindu Temple. Also drive past President's House, Parliament House, Government Secretariat Buildings and Connaught Place shopping centre.
Day 9: Morning transfer to airport.
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