India highlights, Taj, Ganges, & ancient monuments
Description of India highlights, Taj, Ganges, & ancient monuments
This tour provides a window on ancient India and its incredible cultural heritage, from architectural jewels to spiritual depths.
Begin by exploring India's capital, Delhi, visiting the grand Swami Naryan Temple, the old town's magnificent Red Fort one-time seat of Moghul rulers and the ornately decorated Qutub Minar minaret.
The 'Pink City' of Jaipur capital of Rajasthan provides colourful counterpoint to Delhi with its ravishing mix of ancient merchant houses, historic forts and lavish palaces. Your next destination is Agra, pausing en route to visit Fatehpur Sikri, a fascinating example of Moghul architecture built by the illustrious King Akbar. In Agra, the Agra Fort is merely a grand taster for a visit to one of the world's most iconic historic buildings, the Taj Mahal.
Next day, it's all-aboard to ride one of India's characterful trains to Jhansi, before transferring to the road to drive to the 'Temple City' of Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh. You'll pause en route to stretch your legs at a delightful hill station in Orchha. In Khajuraho, discover one of India's finest concentrations of temples, from the ornately decorated Jahangir Mahal to the sensuous Devi Jagdamba, adorned with erotic carvings.
Your journey concludes with a flight to the holy city of Varanasi and a boat ride on the sacred Ganges River, its stepped embankments lined with bathing pilgrims and temples. Gain insight into their worship at Benares Hindu University, a centre of learning for Sanskrit and Indian culture. Suitably enlightened, you'll visit some of the most sacred sites of Buddhism Sarnath, where the Buddha preached his first sermon, then the Dhamek Stupa where the Buddha proclaimed his faith.
PlanetThis is a very Unique & very special trip for us, where we are supporting an NGO called Jagriti who are involved in giving education, accommodation, clothing & food to small children who are found begging in railway stations. An amount of £5 per person goes to this NGO.
We are using the old heritage palace hotel in Jaipur & Varanasi whose owners have maintained the building very well thus contributing to saving the old Indian architecture and culture. We use only local guides in Delhi Agra, Jaipur & Varanasi
The Hotels you will stay in was constructed using locally available material and is built in the local style without chemical paints. They use waste wood boilers for heating and try to minimise electricity use by using energy saving lamps and solar, hurricane and earthen lamps in the night. In addition the hotels we use use recycled stationary, harvests rain water, uses soak pits to collect water and reuses waste water in the garden. All cleaning is done manually (no machines), organic waste is composted, food is cooked on LPG stoves and they do not allow music or televisions to keep noise pollution to a minimum.
PeopleWe visit the Benares Hindu University center of learning for Sanskrit, Indian art, culture, and music at Varanasi. Varanasi is an important seat of Indian Classical Music. The Benaras Gharana is an important institution that teaches music. Ustad Bismillah Khan was born here, he was a proponent of Sehnai a classical musical instrument.
At all the destinations we use local transport, and the drivers are from the local communities. We believe in using local infrastructure in order to encourage as well as provide impetus for development. We support a small school (Gram Vidhyalaya) for 50 students and a contribution of £5 per person goes to this school.
This trip aims to help and support a more responsible and sustainable approach in Cultural tourism in India by catering to small group of not more than 8 people, thus leaving behind the least impact on a particular destination. The trained cultural & registered guides who will accompany you for local sightseeing are from the local community who have developed the skills of communicating with clients over the years with our regular in house training.