Delhi – Kalyar – Agra – Jaipur –Ajmer – Mumbai (9 nights and 10 days)
India is a multi-lingual, multi-ethnic society and home to people with myriad religion and philosophies. No wonder that as a witness to the prosaic culture of Indian civilization a large number of Mosques, Dargahs and shrines of importance for Muslims dot the Indian landscape. Mughal architecture, an amalgam of Islamic, Persian and Indian architecture, is the distinctive style developed by the Mughals in the 16th and 17th centuries. It is symmetrical and decorative in style. Some of the notable works include the world famous Taj Mahal, Humayun’s Tomb, Itmad-ud-Daula and the Jama Masijd.
Day 01 :
Arrive Delhi – The Capital city and the political hub of India. The city's importance lies not just in its past glory as the seat of empires and magnificent monuments, but also in the rich and diverse cultures. On arrival you will be met, assisted and transferred to the hotel. Evening visit the famous Red Fort for an exciting Son-et-Lumiere show (sound & light show). Overnight stay in Delhi.
Day 02 :
This morning after breakfast proceed for a full day combined tour of The Old & The New Delhi. The Old Delhi tour includes visits to The Jama Masjid, the largest and principal mosque of Old Delhi in India. The courtyard of the mosque can hold up to twenty-five thousand worshippers. The mosque also houses several relics in a closet in the north gate, including an antique copy of the Qur'an written on deer skin. Thereafter visit the massive Red Fort - a powerful symbol of India's sovereignty and The Raj Ghat - the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi. Later proceed for sightseeing of New Delhi, visit the Qutub Minar - a 72 meter high monument, and Humayun's Tomb built in mid 16th century. It represents a leap in Mughal architecture and together with its accomplished Charbagh garden, typical of Persian gardens, but never seen before in India, it set a precedent for subsequent Mughal architecture. Also visit the Lotus Temple, drive past India Gate, the Raj Bhavan, Safdarjung's Tomb and the Parliament. Overnight stay in Delhi.
Day 03 :
This morning after breakfast leave for a full day excursion to Kalyar (185 kms / 4hrs one way), Alauddin Ali Ahmed Kaliyari also known as Sabir Kaliyari (The Patient Saint of Kaliyar) was a prominent South Asian Sufi Saint of Chishti Order in 13th century. Today, his dargah (Sufi mausoleum) at Kaliyar village, near Haridwar, is one of the most revered shrine for Muslims in India, after Ajmer Sharif at Ajmer, and is equally revered by Hindus and Muslims in South Asia. Overnight stay in Delhi.
Day 04 :
This morning after breakfast drive to Agra (203 kms / 4.5hrs), home to one of the seven wonders of the world – The Taj Mahal & is also famous for its leather goods. Arrive and transfer to hotel. Later proceed for a half-day tour of Agra city. Visit The Taj Mahal, which is the mausoleum of Shah Jehan’s beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. This monument of love is made of white marble and it took 20 years to build. Thereafter proceed to visit the Agra Fort – one of the most important forts in India and is accurately described as a walled city, and Itmad-Ud-Daulah – sometimes described as a jewel box. Its garden layout and use of white marble, pietra dura, inlay designs and latticework presage many elements of the Taj Mahal. Overnight stay in Agra.
Day 05 :
Today morning after breakfast, drive to Jaipur (232kms / 5hrs) via Fatehpur Sikri, the deserted red sandstone city which Akbar built as his capital in the 16th century and abandoned just 15 years later. Jaipur is the first planned city of India, located in the semi-desert lands of Rajasthan. The city which once had been the capital of the royalty now is the capital city of Rajasthan. The very structure of Jaipur resembles the taste of the Rajputs and the Royal families. At present, Jaipur is a major business center with all requisites of a metropolitan city. On arrival transfer to the hotel. Evening stroll the local bazaar for some exquisite shopping of bangles, leather footwear (mojris), blue pottery, gems & semi precious stones, lacquered bangles, tie-dye fabrics. Overnight stay in Jaipur.
Day 06 :
This morning after breakfast, visit the Amber fort, a massive fort-palace complex built in 16th century and named after the town of Amber. Enjoy an elephant / jeep ride at the fort. Later drive past the Hawa Mahal-a Palace of winds. It is a five storey high red sandstone structure complete with over 950 windows. The wind (or hawa in Hindi) circulates through these windows giving the palace its name. In the afternoon visit the City palace an imposing blend of traditional Rajput and Mughal architecture. It is a vast palace complex occupying nearly one-seventh of the Pink City. Walk to adjacent Jantar Mantar, the largest of the five astronomical observatories built by Maharaja Jai Singh during the period 1727-1734. Overnight stay in Jaipur.
Day 07 :
Today morning after breakfast, drive to Ajmer (180kms / 4hours one way) famous for The tomb of the Sufi saint Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti. The tomb is situated at the foot of the Taragarh hill, and consists of several white marble buildings arranged around two courtyards, including a massive gate donated by the Nizam of Hyderabad, a mosque donated by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, the Akbari Mosque, and the domed tomb of the saint. The Emperor Akbar, with his queen, used to come here by foot on pilgrimage from Agra every year in observance of a vow he had made when praying for a son. Overnight stay in Jaipur.
Day 08 :
This day after breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport to board flight to Mumbai. Mumbai – the city that never sleeps, is the second most populous city in the world. It is also the commercial and entertainment capital of India, and home to important financial institutions such as the Reserve Bank of India, the Bombay Stock Exchange, the National Stock Exchange of India and the corporate headquarters of numerous Indian companies and multinational corporations. The city also houses India's Hindi film and television industry, known as Bollywood. On arrival you will be met, assisted and transferred to the hotel. Overnight stay in Mumbai.
Day 09 :
This morning, after breakfast, proceed on an exciting tour of Mumbai city. This includes the magnificent Gateway of India overlooking the Arabian Sea - the most recognizable symbol of the city. It was built to commemorate the visit of the British Monarch to India in 1911. Its design is a combination of both Hindu and Muslim architectural styles. Later visit the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus formerly The Victoria Terminus, which is a historic railway station in Mumbai. The building exhibits a fusion of influences from Victorian Italianate Gothic Revival architecture and traditional Indian architecture. Externally, the wood carving, tiles, ornamental iron and brass railings, grills for the ticket offices, the balustrades for the grand staircases and other ornaments were the work of students at the Bombay School of Art. Thereafter visit The Prince of Wales Musuem, one of the premier cultural institutions in the country. The Indian pillared hall, the arched pavilion, the dome rising above the huge intersecting arches forming a beautiful geometrical pattern-all these together make the Museum building a typical example of the Indo-Saracenic style. Also visit the pious Haji Ali Dargah - one of the most recognizable landmarks of Mumbai. An exquisite example of Indian Islamic architecture, associated with legends about doomed lovers. The main hall has marble pillars embellished with artful mirror work: blue, green, yellow chips of glass arranged in kaleidoscopic patterns interspersed with Arabic patterns which spell the ninety-nine names of Allah. Overnight stay in Mumbai.
Day 10 :
This day, you will be transferred to the airport to board flight for your onward destination. And with this ends a wonderful sojourn of this “Mughal Architecture & Pilgrimage” Tour.