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Golden Triangle - 6 Days / 5 Nights
Day 1 Arrive Delhi
Arrive Delhi, India. After completing immigration and custom formalities you will be met by your guide who will escort you to a waiting vehicle for your transfer to the hotel.
Delhi is made up of about 15 cities, spanning the period from the 11th to 20th centuries. There is little left of the early cities. Old Delhi (Shahjahanabad) and New Delhi, the two most recent cities and the heart of modern Delhi, are relatively intact. Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan in 1650 switched the Mughal capital from Agra to Delhi. Shah Jehan possessing an exquisite talent, especially in architecture, created the seventh city and in the process brought about Delhi's glorious renaissance. The Red Fort (Lal Qila) is Shah Jehan's symbol of power and elegance, built behind red sandstone walls. Its main gate (Lahore Gate) faces Chandni Chowk, the perpetually congested avenue heading west from the Red Fort, is filled with twisting lanes, small streets and crowded bazaars. If you peer through a portico you may see a man getting shaved, silver being weighed, or any other conceivable form of intense commerce.
In 1911 King George V announced the transfer of the capital from Calcutta to Delhi. The King's architects, Lutyens and Baker, set in motion the design and construction of Delhi's eight city - New Delhi. Lutyens designed an "Imperial City" having palatial-sized buildings set amid broad tree-lined avenues punctuated by Moghul style gardens, complete with fountains and shallow pools. It took 20 years to complete this immense undertaking only to have the British pack up and relinquish the subcontinent in 1947.
Day 2 Delhi
This morning visit Old Delhi, which is a striking contrast to New Delhi. Here are very narrow streets with unregulated traffic of all kinds (where might is always right). The Red Fort, built when the Mughal (Muslim) architecture was at its peak, is surrounded by a 2 km red sandstone wall and houses several splendid buildings. The Jama Masjid (Friday Mosque) opposite the Red Fort is the largest mosque in India and one of the greatest examples of the architectural extravaganza of the Mughal era, then a brief stop at Raj Ghat -- Mahatma Gandhi's memorial in black marble. The highlight is a walk through Chandni Chowk (Silver Square), the main shopping street, and a legacy of the Mughal era.
This afternoon visit New Delhi. Visit Qutub Minar - a tall tower, built to call the devout for prayer at an adjoining mosque. The India Gate (War Memorial) is a 42 meter high stone arch and has names of 90,000 Indian soldiers who died in the first world war. The President's house is a huge building with 340 rooms in the middle of sprawling well laid out gardens. The architecture here is purely British.
Included Meals: B
Day 3 Delhi-Agra
At approximately 9:30 AM be ready in the lobby of the hotel in preparation for your overland drive to Agra. The drive takes approximately 4 hours.
At the time of the Mughals, in the 16th & 17th centuries, Agra was the capital of the grand Mughal Empire. During this period the city became a leading centre of art, science, commerce and culture. Akbar the Great made Agra great. The city's origins are dim but Akbar's grandfather Babur is credited with Agra's founding. The short golden age of Agra came to an end with the seventeenth century reign of Shah Jehan, mastermind of the unforgettable Taj Mahal. (Breakfast)
The Taj Mahal is one of the most extravagant monuments in the world, built by an emperor in the found memory of his queen. Construction of the Taj Mahal began in 1631, and is believed to have taken 18 years to complete, with over 20,000 craftsmen working around the clock.
The design and construction is said to be that of the legendary architect, Ustad Ahamad Lahori. Legend has it that once construction was completed, Shah Jehan had Lahori's hands cut off, and blinded, so he would never be able to duplicate the structure. What makes the Taj Mahal unique is its perfect proportions, distinct femininity, medium of construction and ornamentation. Its marble exterior reflects rose and golden tints at sunrise and sunset, while it is dazzling white during the day. It is impossible to visualize the Taj Mahal in any surrounding other than in its paradoxical garden. Paradise, in Islam, is visualized as a lush garden where running streams flow. When the Mughals brought this concept to India they elevated it to heights of incomparable artistry.
Later travel by Tongas (horse carriage) to the massive Agra Fort. From the fort enjoy awesome views of the Taj Mahal. The elegant buildings inside reflect an interesting synthesis of Hindu and Central Asian architectural styles -- a contrast to the unique Mughal style that emerged during this period.
Explore the chambers of this royal residence. Shah Jahan was imprisoned here by his son Aurangzeb. The Shah spent his final years gazing at the tomb he had commissioned for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. You will also visit itmad ud Daulah, the tomb of Mirza Ghiyath Beg. It was designed by his daughter, Nur Jahan, the most powerful woman in Moghul history.
Included Meals: B
Day 4 Agra-Jaipur
At 9:00 AM be ready in the lobby of the hotel in preparation for your drive to Jaipur. The drive takes approximately 5 hours.
En route visit Fatehpur Sikri (a hilltop ghost fortress and site of the mausoleum of Salim Chistis, a medieval Muslim saint). Make a wish at his tomb as it is said that he still grants the prayers of the pure-hearted. This abandoned capital of the Mughala is a perfectly preserved city at the height of the empire's splendor. It is not hard to imagine what the court life must have been like in the days of its grandeur.
Continue your journey to Jaipur , the land of the Rajahs. Jaipur was the capital of Rajasthan province. Everywhere you will see the monuments of its Mughal rulers. Jaipur is one of the main centers for shopping in India -- especially with regard to textiles, jewelry, stones carpets, etc. Ambling camels and brightly dressed locals, reflect Jaipur’s desert heritage while the teeming markets display a profusion of handlooms and crafts.
Included Meals: B
Day 5 Jaipur
At 9:00 AM depart hotel and visit Amber Fort, a magnificent example of a Rajput Fort building at its best. Fortified by hills and a succession of gates, the fort was a perfect capital for the Kuchwaha Rajputs from the 11th to the 18th centuries. The fort contains a dramatic Hall of Public Audience opposite a beautifully painted Ganesh pole. Ganesh, the elephant-headed son of Siva and Parvati, is commonly propitiated before beginning any new venture. Visit the gardens and the marble rooms, which are cooled by water pouring through fine perforations in the center of the wall. This low-tech air conditioning was highly effective and easy to use. As you move between the rooms of this magnificent structure feel the history and visualize the pomp and grandeur of a kingdom never conquered.
This afternoon visit the City Palace, home to an impressive collection of traditional Rajasthai and Mughal artwork, jewels, textiles and arms; Jantar Mantar; and the Hawa Mahal, or Palace of Winds, a tall facade of almost one thousand windows, behind which royal ladies once took the air in privacy. The City Palace in the heart of the old city is a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. The center of the palace is a seven-storied building called the Chandra Palace, with fine views of the garden and the city.
Next to the City Palace is the Solar Observatory -- an astronomical treasure house with solar devices that give accurate predictions till date.
Included Meals: B
Day 6 Jaipur-Delhi
At approximately 9:00 AM be ready in the lobby of the hotel in preparation for your overland journey to Delhi.
Included Meals: B
Dates & Pricing
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