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Mystic East (Delhi – Agra – Khajuraho – Varanasi – Kolkata – Bhubaneswar – Puri – Bhubaneswar – Delhi)
Duration: 11 days and 10 nights
Description: This trip takes you into the mystical Eastern India. Familiarize yourself with the magnificent temples and its striking architecture. Immerse yourself in the city of Varanasi, “a city older than history” and greet the sun with a morning boat ride on the Ganges. Visit exciting places and experience the magic of the Taj Mahal.
DAY 01: ARRIVAL IN DELHI (_/_/_)
Arrive at the airport, where you will be received and transferred to the hotel. On the way, your attention will be grabbed by this exciting city, in which tradition and modernity co-exist. Old Delhi, formerly the capital of Islamic India, is a labyrinth of narrow streets and magnificent mosques. As a contrast, New Delhi is the imperial city created by the British occupying forces, consisting of broad avenues and imposing government buildings.
Day 02: Delhi – Agra (B/_/_)
After a leisurely breakfast we make our journey to Agra. We begin our sightseeing tour of Agra with a visit to the magnificent Taj Mahal, which is surely the most extravagant expression of love ever created – a declaration of love cast in white marble and semi-precious stones. Also enjoy the beautiful park of the Taj Mahal. On the banks of river Yamuna stands the majestic fort of Agra. Learn about the impressive buildings, dive into the world of Emperor Akbar and marvel at his chambers and the resplendent Peacock Throne. Also experience Agra’s rich heritage of traditional craftsmanship at its colorful market. Overnight at hotel in Agra.
Day 03: Agra – Jhansi (Zug) – Khajuraho (B/_/_)
In the morning, an exciting and interesting experience awaits you – a train ride from Agra to Jhansi. Upon arrival you will be received and taken by car to Khajuraho. On the way you experience the vastness of the landscape up close. In the afternoon, proceed on a tour of Khajuraho. The temple, with its depictions of scenes from the Kamasutra is impressive. Immerse yourself in the fascinating legend, which says that the builders of Khajuraho descended from the moon.
Dulah Deo Temple – This beautiful temple has some of the most special Khajuraho sculptures. There is a picture of Shiva, which indicates that the temple was originally dedicated to this deity.
Chattarbhuj temple: A short drive from the village Jatkari, the ruins of two temples are located here. One of them is a Shiva temple where a marble Lingam is preserved. The other involves the 3.3m high image of Vishnu in his sanctuary with an expression of transcendental calm and bliss on his face. Overnight at hotel.
Day 04: Khajuraho – Varanasi (B/_/_)
You will be taken to the airport and proceed to Varanasi by flight. Upon arrival you will be greeted and taken to the hotel. Immerse yourself during the journey into the very special atmosphere of this place. Overnight at hotel.
Day 05: Varanasi (B/_/_)
Varanasi is the oldest living city in the world. These few lines by Mark Twain say it all: “Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of this together.”
Greet the new day with a morning boat ride on the Ganges. Take a glimpse of the city’s religious life – lighting candles on delicate earthen lamps afloat on the river and believers taking a holy dip in the Ganges. Later explore the town on foot.
In the afternoon, you visit Sarnath where the Buddha delivered his first teachings. Sarnath is the third most holy place of Buddhism. Buddha preached the middle path by avoiding extremes; the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold path were described in order to avoid the sources of suffering. Enjoy the peace and tranquility of this special place. Overnight at hotel.
Day 06: Varanasi – Kolkata (B/_/_)
Transfer to airport for flight to Kolkata. On arrival, check in at hotel. On the way, experience the proud, packed mass of Kolkata, with its crumbling jewel of Victorian architecture.
Later, take a city tour of Kolkata, visiting the Victoria Memorial Hall, a fantastic museum that takes you into the past with photos and portraits of famous personalities. Later, visit St. Paul’s Cathedral. It is a replica of the Bell Harry Tower of Canterbury Cathedral. Upon entering, one is dazzled by the beauty of the murals. Later you may go to the house of Mother Teresa. Visit the grave of Mother Teresa, learn more about her organization’s service to the poor, or simply enjoy the special atmosphere in this place. Overnight at hotel.
Day 07: Kolkata – Bhubaneswar (B/_/_)
Transfer to airport for flight to Bhubaneswar. Upon arrival you will be transferred to your hotel. On the way, you can already begin spotting some of the famous temples.
Day 08: Bhubaneshwar (B/_/_)
After a leisurely breakfast, embark on a tour filled with the amazing architecture of the temples of Bhubaneshwar. See the impressive Brahmeshwar temple, the magnificent temple Mukteswar and the small but beautiful temple Parasurameswar.
Overnight at hotel.
Day 09: Bhubaneswar – Puri – Bhubaneswar (B/_/_)
Today’s excursion takes you to Puri. Enjoy the mild climate and magnificent Jagannath temple built in the 11th century. Later, drive back to Bhubaneswar and overnight at the hotel.
Day 10: Bhubaneswar – Delhi (F/_/_)
In the morning you will be taken to the airport for your flight to Delhi. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Later, embark on an interesting tour of Old and New Delhi, where tradition and modernity exist side by side.
On the way you see the Qutab Minar, a soaring tower of victory, made of marble and red sandstone. At the foot of the tower is the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque, the very first mosque built in India.
The tomb of Humayun, with its beautiful gardens, is the first real example of Mughal architecture in India. Enjoy the wonderful facility with their pathways and water canals. Enjoy the impressive Red Fort with the famous Lahore Gate.
The tour also takes you to the Jamma Mosque, the largest mosque in India. It was completed under Shah Jahan, the Mughal Emperor who had also built the Taj Mahal. Travelers can hire robes at the northern gate. This is perhaps the only moment where you can dress like a local.
At Raj Ghat, where the mortal remains of Mahatma Gandhi are kept, there is a very special atmosphere. Calm serenity pervades this place. The India Gate, a huge arch that stands in the middle of an intersection, is awe-inspiring.
Overnight at hotel.
Day 11: Departure From Delhi (B/_/_)
Transfer to the airport for your onward flight.