North East of India

Orissa, Kolkata and a 7-night cruise on the Lower Ganga

8 to 25 March 2022

Temples in Orissa are perhaps the most powerful tantric temples in India, spend a few days in Kolkata, then spend seven nights onboard Assam Bengal Navigation’s “MV Rajmahal" plying the River Hooghly, or Lower Ganga.

This tour is ideal for those who have been to India on earlier opportunities. We will be going to parts of India which are less travelled, with few tourists and thus minimal tourism infrastructure.

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ABN Rajmahal entered service in 2014. Her extra-shallow draught and a lower profile than conventional designs allow her to cruise further upstream than any of her competitors. All 22 air-conditioned cabins have French balconies. The colonial elegance décor is brought to life by traditional Indian-inspired designs. There is a comfortable saloon and bar, dining room and a vast canopied sundeck. A small spa onboard offers a wide range of treatments. All cabins and public rooms are air-conditioned. Food on board is a mixture of Assamese and Continental cuisines. Wines, beer and spirits are available.

The Spanish speaking tour will be led by Adrianna Castelazo. Adrianna loves India and starting in the mid 1990s, has been all over the country more than 50 times. Deepak Singh will lead the English speaking tour. We will all be traveling together. Play the joyous and colourful festival of Holi while on board.


We will have both Spanish and English speaking guides accompanying us throughout the tour

ITINERARY
Map of this area
(https://goo.gl/maps/qaqdh6DAhcnCJSTb7). Zoom in or out to change details. (The shown route is by road. We will be flying across the longer distances, or on the river from Kolkata to Farakka).

March 8. Departure from The Americas
Leave the Americas this afternoon. Overnight: On board your flight.


March 9. Departure from Europe / Arrival into Kolkata
Leave Europe this morning. Arrive Kolkata late today. Spiritual Journeys representative will welcome you at the airport, and escort you to your hotel. Overnight: Kolkata.


March 10. Kolkata.
Full day of sightseeing in Kolkata. Overnight: Kolkata.

There is much to see in Kolkata, but highlights include a visit to the Kalighat Temple. The name Calcutta is said to have been derived from the word Kalighat. This 350-year temple is dedicated to Goddess Kaali the presiding guardian deity of the city and one of the principal deities of Bengal. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, the second priest in-charge of this temple, was the guru of Swami Vivekananda. Kalighat is regarded as one of the 52 Shakti Peethams of India, where various parts of Shakti's body are said to have fallen, in the course of Shiva's (an important Hindu God) Rudra Tandava. The idol of Kali is made of black stone and it is decorated with gold and silver, and that of Lord Shiva is made in silver. Kalighat represents the site where the toes of the right foot fell. Kalighat Temple is located on the Kalighat by the side of Tolly’s Nullah on the banks of the river Hooghly (Bhagirathi).

Belur Math is set attractively amid palms and manicured lawns, this religious centre spread over 40 acres is the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Mission, inspired by 19th-century Indian sage Ramakrishna Paramahansa who preached the unity of all religions. A dual-level museum charts Ramakrishna’s life and the travels of his great disciple Swami Vivekananda. The structure incorporates the architectural motifs of a Hindu temple, a Buddhist chaitya, a Christian church and an Islamic mosque. The windows and balconies are Islamic while the temple façade is Hindu. The significance of religious fraternity in one homogenous structure cannot be missed by the devotee.

March 11. Kolkata.
Full day of sightseeing in Kolkata. Overnight: Kolkata.

A visit to Kolkata would be incomplete without a visit to the Mother’s Home. This houses Mother St. Teresa’s Mission and Mother House, including her tomb. Here experience the serenity of the place and learn about her religious and philanthropic work. A small adjacent museum room has her worn sandals and battered enamel dinner bowl on display. Her starkly simple living quarters are also preserved at an upper floor.

Dakshineswar Kali Temple is dedicated to Goddess Bhavatarini, a form of Goddess Kali, this beautiful and vibrant riverside Hindu temple complex was built by Rani Rasmoni, a pious lady from an aristocratic background. She purchased a huge plot of land beside the Hoogly river and established the Kali temple in 1855 in the traditional nava-ratna (9 spires) style of Bengal architecture, at the heart of which is a cream-and-red Kali Temple shaped like an Indian Sacré-Coeur. The site is where Shri Ramakrishna started his remarkable spiritual journey and where he was head priest, and his small room in the outer northwest corner of the temple precinct is now a place of special meditative reverence. Along with the main Kali temple, there are twelve temples of lord Shiva in his twelve different names. The temple construction follows the typical architectural pattern of Bengal. Lord Sri Ramakrishna was the famous priest of this temple, after his elder brother. He resided here with his wife Sri Ma Sarada Devi and it was a place of gathering for his devotees. This place is not just a temple, but a place where a great spiritual revolution took place during the 19th Century.


March 12. Kolkata - Bhubaneswar
Fly to Bhubaneswar the capital of the East Indian state of Odisha, on the east coast of the country, this morning. Upon arrival, visit the Lingaraj Temple, a Hindu temple dedicated to Harihara, one of the reincarnations of Shiva and one of the oldest temples of Bhubaneswar. The temple is the most prominent landmark and largest temple of the Bhubaneswar city and the state, and largest in Bhubaneswar. Overnight: Bhubaneswar.


March 13. Bhubaneswar

Start the day with a visit to Ratnagiri and the Lalitgiri archaeological sites, these hills are home to the ruins of the most unique Buddhist monastery in the world.

Later visit the caves of Udaygiri: The hills of Udaygiri are an important place in the archaeological history of India. Of the 18 caves, Hathigumpha (the Elephant Cave) is the most important. The caves here are decorated with statues, tiles and picture series that represent love stories and war legends. The other caves provide Jain legends, myths and icons. Overnight: Bhubaneswar.


March 14. Bhubaneswar - Konark - Pipli – Puri
After breakfast we drive to Konark, home of the Sun Temple (2 hrs), a splendid temple dating from the 13th century. On the beach is Surya, the Sun God, immortalized in stone as he hurries along the sky in a magnificent carriage. With its 12 some huge carved in stone wheels and seven horses, which pull with all his strength the heavy weight, the sun is often - referred to as the peak of Kalinga architecture - based on these stone sculptures.

Later drive to Pipli, famous all over the world for its appliqué work. Pipili most well known for its handicraft is near Puri. The Craft involves embroidering and stitching small pieces of colored cloth with flowers, animals, village scene and traditional designs on to a larger base cloth. The cloth used for patch as well as base is cotton with different color combinations. This appliqué patchwork is commonly used to make garden umbrellas, wallets, wall hangings, lampshades, pouches & bags.

Continue onto Puri on the east coast of the country. Puri is an important city in Orissa, about an hour’s drive from Bhubaneswar. Beautiful wide beaches, fish farms and beautiful resorts are an attraction for tourists from all over the world. For the Hindus, Puri is an important temple town because of the famous temple of the deity Jagannath. Overnight: Puri.


March 15. Puri
Today we visit a fishing village and experience the simple and difficult village life. In the locality, visit Jagannath Temple, which will be viewed from a platform because non-Hindus are not allowed inside this active temple. Visit a pottery village where we experience potters at work in their homes. The pottery is exclusively intended for use in the Jagannath Temple. In the afternoon, visit an artists' village Raghurajpur known for their paintings, carvings, paper masks and paintings on coconut. Overnight: Puri.


March 16. Bhubaneswar – Kolkata
Morning at leisure allowing you to relax. We then drive to Bhubaneswar airport in time for our flight to Kolkata. Overnight: Kolkata.


March 17. Kolkata - Board MV Rajmahal
Transfer from your hotel to embark your 7-night cruise on the Lower Hooghly by midday. Sail past the old Danish colony of Serampore to Barrackpore. Land and take a walk through the cantonment – past the Semaphore Tower, Government House, the Temple of Fame and Flagstaff House – to get a better understanding of India's journey to independence. Sail up to Chandernagore, a French possession until 1950. Overnight: MV Rajmahal.

March 18. On board MV Rajmahal
In the morning we will play Holi, my all time favourite festival of the many festivals of India. Later visit the 18th century church and Dupleix’s House, the erstwhile Governor-General of French India. Sail upstream past the old Dutch settlement of Chinsura before landing to visit the imposing Imambara at Hooghly. With verses from the Koran written on its walls, the Imambara is an opportunity to step back in time and relive a slice of Islamic history in Bengal. Sail into the night to a mooring near Kalna. Overnight: MV Rajmahal.

March 19. On board MV Rajmahal
After breakfast, land at the country town of Kalna and take rickshaws to see a group of some of Bengal’s most attractive terracotta temples, the unique Shiva temple with concentric rings made up of 108 shrinelets, and a muslin-weaving centre. Continue on through the countryside to Mayapur to visit the vast new ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) temple which dominates the skyline. As the headquarters of ISKCON or the Hare Krishna movement, the temple receives over a million singing and dancing devotees a year from around the world. Sail on through the night to a mooring near Matiari. Overnight: MV Rajmahal.

March 20. On board MV Rajmahal
This morning visit the brass-working village of Matiari, a charming riverside village. Interact with the locals of Matiari and witness the whole primitive process of beating out brass water pots and other vessels. Later, cruise on and visit the battlefield of Plassey where, in 1757, Robert Clive, the Commander-in-Chief of British India, defeated Siraj-ud-Daulah, the last independent Nawab of Bengal, to change the course of Indian history. Moor close to Khushbagh for the night. Overnight: MV Rajmahal.

March 21. On board MV Rajmahal
This morning, walk to the Khushbagh, a peaceful Mughal-style garden that encloses the tombs of Siraj-ud-Daulah – the last independent Nawab of Bengal – and his family. Continue a little way upstream to where the great Hazarduari Palace dominates the waterfront. Built by an English architect in 1837, the palace hosts an extensive collection of pictures, china, weapons and other objects. Carry on to visit the great Katra Mosque before driving out to see the Katgola Palace. Built in classical Georgian style by rich local merchants, Katgola Palace represents the other side of the coin of the 'White Mughal' period when English and Indian cultures came close to fusion. Moor overnight on the riverbank across from town at Baranagar. Overnight: MV Rajmahal.

March 22. On board MV Rajmahal
This morning, walk through the fields of the delightfully sleepy village of Baranagar to visit its three gorgeous miniature terracotta temples. This is rural India at its most idyllic. Continue up the lower Ganges (or the Hooghly), which transforms into a charming waterway twisting and turning between banks lined with mustard fields and mango orchards. Carry on up a long canal section to a mooring close to the Farakka Barrage. Overnight: MV Rajmahal.

March 23. On board MV Rajmahal
Disembark and go on a full-day excursion by road to Gaur, near the town of Malda, or English Bazaar. This quiet, deserted place was once one of India’s great cities, first under the Hindus in 12th century, then as the Muslim capital of Eastern India from the 14th to the 16th century. There are plentiful remains of mosques, palaces and gateways and you visit a number of the most interesting before rejoining the ship in the evening. Overnight: MV Rajmahal.

March 24. Disembark MV Rajmahal, drive to Kolkata, and departure
Disembark and transfer to Farakka train station in the morning for your train journey (4 hrs) to Kolkata. Our representatives will meet you when you arrive and transfer you to the airport for your onward flight. Overnight: On board your flight.

March 25. Arrival Home
Arrive back into Europe this morning, and The Americas this evening.

End of services offered by Spiritual Journeys, LLC.

HOTELS ENVISAGED:

City Hotel, Room Type
No of nights
Review
Kolkata The Oberoi, Deluxe
3 + 1
Bhubaneswar The Trident, Deluxe
2
Puri Mayfair Heritage, Cottage
2
Cruise ABN Rajmahal,Cabin
7

 

COSTS:
US Dollar, per person, with MINIMUM 15 guests with the entire ship chartered by us. If we have 14 or fewer passengers, we will NOT charter the ship, and we will have others on board.

Tour, per person
Main Deck (4 Cabins, two SINGLE beds)
Upper Deck (14 Cabins, two SINGLE beds)
Main Deck (4 Cabins, one SINGLE bed, cabins are smaller)
Shared, 2 people per cabin
7,360.00
7,960.00
Not Available
Single, own Cabin
10,215.00
10,815.00
10,215.00

 

PAYING IN INSTALLMENTS: You can pay by installments. The first payment needs to be $ 1,000.00 (as your deposit) and last and final payment needs to be on or before Thursday 6 January 2022. Contact Deepak Singh (e-mail, phone (+1-508-358-4267) or Whatsapp (+1-857-389-0859)) for details.

TOUR PRICE WOULD INCLUDE:
• Accommodation as per above itinerary in twin share/double rooms/cabins,
• Tours and transfers as specified including entry fees, on a private basis in an air-conditioned vehicle,
• Services of an accompanying Spanish as well as an English speaking guide throughout tour,
• All flights in economy class,
• All breakfasts and lunches, and dinners while on board, but drinks are not included, and,
• Current applicable VAT Government tax and services charge.

TOUR PRICE WOULD EXCLUDE:
• International airfares and taxes, unless otherwise specified,
• Visa expenses, processing and issuance fees,
• Meals other than specified as included,
• Travel Insurance or expenses of a personal nature (mini-bar, phone call, laundry, etc.),
• Tips or gratuities to guides/drivers/porters / hotel, restaurant or boat staff, etc.,
• Drinks or personal expenses or entrance fees for any extra sightseeing or optional activities,
• Hotel early check- in and late check-out, and,
• Optional tour(s).

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In addition to the main tour, an optional tour to visit the Magnificient Palaces and Forts in the Glorious Cities of Rajasthan, and Agra (home of the Taj Mahal)

 

We will have both Spanish and English speaking guides throughout the tour

The Spanish speaking tour will be led by Adrianna Castelazo. Adrianna loves India and starting in the mid 1990s, has been all over the country more than 50 times. Deepak Singh will lead the English speaking tour. We will all be traveling together.

 

ITINERARY
Map of this area
(https://goo.gl/maps/rDp3LjcwJWTxuJQ58). Zoom in or out to change details. (The shown route is by road. We will be flying across the longer distances).

February 22: Depart the Americas
Depart the Americas this afternoon. Overnight: On board your flight.


February 23: Arrive Delhi
Depart Europe. Arrive in Delhi. Overnight: Delhi.

We welcome you in the capital city of India, for a journey across the fascinating history-markers of medieval north India. Wars were fought and rulers changed in Delhi but ordinary lives were lived in relative continuity. Glimpses of these can be seen even today as the character of the city underwent massive changes in the last decades. In the land to have been seven capital cities, signs of the old are continuously jostling with the new, presenting an ever-fascinating panorama. We welcome you to its chaos and stability, into its steadfastness and its impatience and into a delightful rainbow of amalgamation, producing a world completely its own. We will meet you as you exit customs and immigration at Delhi airport and transfer you to your airport hotel.

February 24: Delhi
Spend the day sightseeing in North Delhi. Overnight: Delhi.

We will visit Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in India with a capacity of 20,000 people, situated a quarter of a mile from the Red Fort, designed as Emperor Shahjahan's principal mosque. Construction lasted six years, ending in 1644. The structure was placed on a high platform so that it's magnificent facade would be visible from all the adjoining areas. It's an austere yet beautiful building in red sandstone with white marble being used extensively. The pulpit is one of its best features, being carved out of a single block of marble. The Emperor used to arrive here every Friday and on Id. Spend a little time at Rajghat where Gandhi was cremated. While there are many noteworthy Gurudwaras (places of worship for the Sikhs), we will visit the lovely Gurudwara Bangla Sahib where Guru Har Krishan, the eighth Sikh Guru went to Delhi and stayed as the honored guest of Raja Jai Singh.

February 25: Delhi
Spend the day sightseeing in South Delhi. Overnight: Delhi.

Visit Humayun’s Tomb built by Haji Begum, the widow of the second Mughal Emperor, Humayun’s, nine years after his death and took eight years to complete. It is designed by the Persian architect Misak Mirza Ghiyaz. Octagonal in shape, raised on a plinth, with double domes, high arches, laid in the centre of a large walled enclosure, the monument is an imposing structure, The Qutub Minar – Delhi’s landmark, 73 mtr. Tall victory tower was started by Qutub-ud-din Aibak,the first Muslim ruler in 1193 but could finish only the 1st storey of sand stones. Iltutmish succeeding him added 2nd& 3rd floor in sand stone and later in 1368 Firoz Shah Tughlak constructed 4th& 5th storey in both sand stone and marble. Delhi’s most curious antique, the uncorroded Iron Pillar, which dates back to the 4th century AD.

Drive past Rashtrapati Bhavan – The house that houses the President of India and the house that boasts of having welcomed the most powerful men in history. The Rashtrapati Bhavan was designed by Edwin Lutyens and built in 1931, to be the central point of the British power in Delhi, and the Secretariat Buildings – the centre of Government activity, down the impressive Rajpath (the main avenue), to the World War I memorial arch, India Gate, the High Court Building and the Old Fort, India Gate – Sir Edwin Lutyens designed this war memorial to 90,000 Indian soldiers who died on the North-west Frontiers during World War I. The Duke of Connaught laid the foundation in 1921 and was completed in 10 years.

Evening you can visit Connaught Place – which was built in 1931. It comprises of two concentric circles with colonial style buildings surrounded by a park. These buildings can be reached through the inner, middle and the outer circles. Gulmohur trees, a large fountain, ornate fencing and the recently added light post grace the central park.

February 26: Delhi - Udaipur
In time transfer to Delhi airport to board flight for Udaipur. Upon arrival, spend rest of day sightseeing Udaipur. Overnight: Udaipur.

Udaipur is a centre of historic arts and crafts of Mewar, like the Mewar School of Miniature Painting. There is the modern face of Udaipur that one can look at if interested, but given the other sights from a glorious past, modernity is no real distraction. Udaipur will hold you in its thrall no matter who you are or where you come from. During your tour you will visit the City Palace built in 1725, a majestic architectural marvel towering over the lake on a hill surrounded by crenellated walls, it is a conglomeration of courtyards, pavilions, terraces, corridors, rooms and hanging gardens. The main entrance is through the triple arched gate, the "Tripolia" with eight marble porticos. The Maharanas were weighed under the gate in gold, the equivalent amount of which was distributed among the populace. There after visit Shri Jagmandir Temple - built by Maharana Jagat Singh I in 1651 the temple enshrines a black stone image of Lard Vishnu. There is a brass image of Garuda the Lord bird carrier. The exterior and the plinth are covered with base relief of alligators; elephants, horsemen and celestial musicians rise in tiers. Chanting, bells and music can be heard throughout the day. It is the largest and most splendid temple of Udaipur.


February 27: Udaipur
A leisurely morning, then a boat cruise on Pichola Lake, 4-Km long and 3-Km broad, surrounded by splendid hills, palaces, temples, bathing ghats and embankments. Visit the island palace Jag Niwas which is beautifully set in the lake. Overnight: Udaipur.

February 28: Udaipur-Jodhpur
Drive to Jodhpur (6 1/2 hrs) en route visiting Ranakpur. Overnight: Jodhpur.

Ranakpur is famous for its Jain temples built in the 15th century are situated in the lovely Aravali valley. The town is named after Rana Khumba the legendary warrior king of Udaipur. Its surroundings are peaceful and picturesque. The temple has a grand structure and beautiful sculptures. There are 1444 pillars in the main temple and no two of them are similar. Thereafter commence drive to Jodhpur.


March 1: Jodhpur to Jaipur
Spend the day sightseeing of Jodhpur. Then train to Jaipur. Overnight: Jaipur.

Visit Mehrangarh Fort - Situated at an altitude of about 125 meters, the Mehrangarh Fort of Jodhpur is spread over an area of 5 sq km in the heart of the city of Jodhpur. Besides being a landmark in Jodhpur, Mehrangarh Fort is a must visit for all the tourists. The fort has seven gates of which the noted ones are the Jayapol, built by Maharaja Man Singh in 1806; Fatehpol or the Victory Gate built by Maharaja Ajit Singh; and the Lohapol or the Iron Gate. Jaswant Thada - is a white marble memorial built in memory of Maharaja Jaswant II in 1899 A story goes that Maharaja Jaswant succumbed to injuries in this place while fighting the Mughal king Jahangir. This place is a must visit in Jodhpur. Umaid Bhawan - Made of marble and pink sandstone, the construction of the Umaid Bhawan of Jodhpur started in 1929 and it took 16 years to complete it. It is believed that the palace was constructed to give employment to the famine-struck population of Jodhpur. This majestic building is presently the residence of the former rulers with a part of it running as hotel and remaining part as a museum. In time transfer to Jodhpur railway station to board train for Jaipur departing this evening and arriving 5 hours later.


March 2: Jaipur
Full day of sightseeing. Overnight: Jaipur.

Compare the city of Old Delhi with the city of Jaipur, a city unique amongst its medieval contemporaries. The streets, palaces, temples, residences, shopping place are all in accordance to the ancient Hindu rules of Vastu Shastra. The pink wash was added in 1853 in honour of the visit of Prince Albert. Perched atop the hill looking down majestically is the Amber fort. We ride up into the palace astride elephants just like the Maharajas of yore. The plain and time worn exteriors belie the exquisite detail with which the interiors were crafted with a gentle breeze which cools the interiors. In the famed Sheesh Mahal look up and be prepared to feel a surge of color as the optical effect makes you a part of this royal past. In the city, drive past Hawa Mahal, where again notice the jails. The Maharaja's City Palace, much of which has been converted into a museum covers almost one-seventh area of the city in a fortified unit. Here the Armoury Museum housing an impressive array of weaponry-pistols, blunderbusses, flintlocks, swords, rifles and daggers. Become one with the planetary bodies at Jantar Mantar, the largest stone and marble crafted observatory in the world. Jaipur is also an interesting place for those interested in jewellery, clothes, carpets and other handicrafts items. The city is a veritable paradise for those seeking souvenirs of the craftsmanship of Rajasthan.

March 3: Jaipur
Full day of sightseeing. Overnight: Jaipur.


March 4: Jaipur to Agra
Drive to Agra through Fathepur Sikri. Overnight: Agra.

From the romance of the deserts we move towards the monument of a man’s love for his beloved, the city which treasures a lover’s dream, Agra (6 hrs). On our way we stop at Fatehpur Sikri. In its imposing red sandstone structure lies the city envisioned by Emperor Akbar only to be abandoned a mere fourteen years later due to water scarcity.

March 5: Agra
Spend the day sightseeing. Overnight: Agra.

Before dawn, visit the spectacular Taj Mahal - the most extravagant monument ever built for love. On the death of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, Moghul Emperor Shah Jehan built her this memorial over which 20,000 men laboured for 22 years to create a masterpiece in white marble inlaid with semi precious stones; the art is called pietra dura. Stroll down the ornamental gardens laid out along the classical Mughal charbagh lines. This garden is separated by a long watercourse, which reflects the monument in perfect symmetry. Return to your hotel for breakfast. A short drive away is the Agra Fort where Shah Jehan spent the last years of his life, imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb. The most impressive part of the Fort are the Dewan-eAm, Hall of Public Audience where the Emperor met officials and listened to petitioners, and the Dewan-e-Khas Hall of Private Audience where he received foreign dignitaries. The Peacock throne (now in Iran) was in this fort, before being moved to Delhi by Emperor Aurangzeb. Overnight: Agra.

Mar 6: Agra - Orchha - Khajuraho
Train and drive to Khajuraho, through Orchha. Overnight: Khajuraho.

Early morning transfer to Agra train station Agra to board your train for Jhansi (0802-1045 hrs). On arrival drive to Khajuraho (5 1/2 hrs) en route visiting Orchha - The city of Orchha is situated in the state of Madhya Pradesh in central India. The meaning of Orchha is 'hidden' and the city is located on the banks of River Betwa in Madhya Pradesh, 16 kilometers away from Jhansi, and is encircled by fascinating hills and loads of greenery. The small village of Orchha was once the capital of Bundelkhand. The historical memorials of Orchha narrate the stories of war and peace, love and devastation and still retain the unspoiled charm. Visit Jehangir Mahal - Jehangir Mahal is exceedingly beautiful and the most visited monument in Orchha. The palace was built by Raja Bir Singh Ju Deo to commemorate the visit of Emperor Jehangir to Orchha. The main attraction of the palace are the two statues of bowed elephants right at the entrance of the gate that set the mood for your exploration of this charming palace. You will notice a strong resemblance in the structure of this palace and many other monuments built in Islamic architectural style; Raj Parveen Mahal - The palace was built King Indramani in the 17th century. It is said that he built it for his love Raj Parveen who was an exceptionally talented poetess and a musician. The palace is only two floor high. It was built this way to match with the height of trees in the area. You can get scintillating views of nearby gardens of Anand Mahal and the octagonal flower garden. Thereafter commence drive to Khajuraho. On arrival and check in at your hotel, spend rest of the day sightseeing (if time permits). Visit the Eastern & Western Group of Temples – the most important temple being the Kandariya Mahadeo Temple-dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is one of the largest and most typical of the Khajuraho temples. Visit the Chaunsat Yogini Temple-dedicated to the 64 “Yoginis” or attendants of Goddess Kali. This temple stands apart from the rest. Also see the Chitragupta or Bharatji Temple with a lovely sculpture of Lord Vishnu in his 11-headed form. The sculptures that adorn the temples, carved in stone depicts gods, goddesses and amorous couples. The Eastern Group of Temples includes the Ghantai Temple, Vamana Temple dedicated to the "Vamana" or dwarf incarnation of Lord Vishnu and the Javari Temple. There are also three Jain Temples with beautiful carvings and non-erotic sculptures. Although these are Jain temples, they also contain numerous Vaishnav deities.


March 7: Khajuraho – Varanasi

Continue sightseeing in the morning, then transfer to the airport for your flight to Varanasi, and upon arrival go to Sarnath. Overnight: Varanasi.

One of four most important places in the life of Buddha: Where he was born (Lumbini, Nepal), where he gained enlightenment (Bodh Gaya, India), where he gave his first sermon (Sarnath, India) and where he left his mortal body (Kushinager, India).
After the Buddha attained enlightenment in Bodh Gaya he came to Sarnath, where, at the Deer Park, he delivered his first sermon. Emperor Ashoka (c 304 - 232 BC), who spread the Buddha's message of love and compassion throughout his vast empire, visited Sarnath around 234 BC, and erected a stupa here.


March 8: Varanasi
Day of sightseeing. Overnight: Varanasi.

Go to the Holy River Ganga before dawn. Experience Ganges cruise & watch activities on Ghats – The long string of bathing ghats are the principal attraction in Varanasi. Ghats are the steps which lead down to the river and the best time to visit the ghats is at dawn, when pilgrims take their morning dip. There are over 100 ghats in all. The best way to see the activities on the ghats is to take a boat ride along the ghats. One can see the women bathing discreetly in their saris, the young men going through yoga exercises, the priests offering blessings. Look for the burning ghats where bodies are cremated. Manikarnika and Harishchandra are the main burning ghats. The lingams mark each ghat, for Varanasi is the city of Lord Shiva. Return to your hotel for breakfast and then spend rest of the day sightseeing this ancient city.


March 9: Varanasi - Kolkata (or Delhi)
In morning, transfer to airport for your flight to either Kolkata or Delhi. (A): If going on main tour, our representatives will meet you at Kolkata airport and transfer you to your hotel to meet rest of your travelling companions, and start your main tour. Overnight: Kolkata. (B): If ending tour, our representatives will meet you at Delhi airport and transfer you to your onward international flight. Overnight: On board your onward flight.

 

 

 

 

COSTS: US $ 5,095.00 per person with all arriving, traveling and departing together, 2-people sharing one twin share room, with a minimum tour size of fifteen paying guests. Single Supplement US$ 1,220.00 per person.


PAYING IN INSTALLMENTS: You can pay by installments. The first payment needs to be $ 1,000.00 (as your deposit) and last and final payment needs to be on or before Friday 19 November 2021. Contact Deepak Singh (e-mail, phone (+1-508-358-4267) or Whatsapp (+1-857-389-0859)) for details.

HOTELS ENVISAGED, or Similar:

City Hotel, Room Type
Nights
Review
Delhi Le Meridien, Executive
3
Udaipur Udai Kothi, Deluxe
2
Jodhpur Ajit Bhawan, Deluxe
1
Jaipur Trident Jaipur, Deluxe
3
Agra Trident, Deluxe
2
Khajuraho Lalit Temple View, Garden View
1
Varanasi Madin, Deluxe
2

 

COST INCLUDES:
• 14 nights hotel accommodation as above on double/twin-sharing room,
• Daily buffet breakfast at hotels, and lunches at local restaurants,
• Domestic flights for sectors: Delhi / Udaipur, Khajuraho / Varanasi, Varanasi / Kolkata or Delhi,
• Morning Boat Ride on River Ganges,
• Evening Aarti ceremony on Ganges Ghat,
• Rickshaw Ride in Varanasi,
• Tips and gratuities to driver, driver’s helper, porters and waiters at restaurants,
• Spanish speaking accompanying guide for sightseeing in all places as per program from start to end of tour,
• All applicable taxes including mandatory government service tax,
• Entrances fee for entry into monuments as per the itinerary,
• All transfers and sightseeing/excursion in an air-conditioned Volvo bus from Udaipur to Agra only. We will use a deluxe A/C bus in Varanasi and Khajuraho as big Volvo buses cannot be driven there,
• The services of a SJI representative at all airport and hotel transfers,
• Chair Car train Jodhpur/Jaipur & Agra/Jhansi, and,
• Boat Ride at Lake Pichola, Udaipur (shared boat).

COST DOES NOT INCLUDE:
• Beverages, mineral water, alcohol, laundry, telephone calls; or other items of personal nature,
• Tips and gratuities to bellboys in hotels,
• Increases in Airfares or Government imposed taxes or entrance fees,
• Still camera or video camera fees at the various monuments and museums,
• Services not specifically stated in the itinerary,
• Personal or travel insurance, departure Taxes or Visa Handling Fees,
• Any changes you may choose to make during your tour,
• International Air,
• Any international air fare,
• Visa fee for India,
• Travel & health insurance,
• Airport taxes and fuel surcharges, which are subject to change without notice. Any meals (other than breakfast), drinks, tips, expenses of personal nature, and,
• Anything not mentioned in the “Cost Includes” column.

 

Registration:  Please use our Registration Form to register, and pay either the deposit or your payment by going to our secure system at Pay Now.

Additional Information: Please e-mail Deepak Singh (English) or Adrianna Castelazo (Spanish) or telephone/Whatsapp Deepak Singh at +1-857-389-0859.