Kumbh Mela and classic North India tour
Are you ready to take part in the most thrilling event of your life? We are talking about Kumbh Mela, an important Indian religious gathering, a mass pilgrimage towards the holy rivers, Gange and Yamuna, to wash away the sins and obtain purification. This great festival, envolving from 70 to 100 milion pilgrims including yogis, sadhus and common people, starts in January and lasts 155 days: a cultural show that will raise unique emotions in the Westerner traveler, impressing him or her forever.Read more
Are you ready to take part in the most thrilling event of your life? We are talking about Kumbh Mela, an important Indian religious gathering, a mass pilgrimage towards the holy rivers, Gange and Yamuna, to wash away the sins and obtain purification. This great festival, envolving from 70 to 100 milion pilgrims including yogis, sadhus and common people, starts in January and lasts 155 days: a cultural show that will raise unique emotions in the Westerner traveler, impressing him or her forever.
Besides attending Kumbh Mela, you'll have the chance to discover the architectural and spiritual treasures of India thanks to a guided tour through its Northern cities, from Delhi to Jaipur, from Agra (with Taj Mahal) to holy Varanasi.
Upon arrival management of customs formalities and meeting with the local representative. Transfer to the hotel (rooms available from 12.00).
Visit the old city, a charming and picturesque maze of lanes. In the same area you can visit Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in the world, and Rajghat where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated. Afternoon visit New Delhi with its most important monuments: the Sikh Temple and the government palaces from the colonial period in front of the India Gate. Overnight.
NB: If your flight arrives between midnight and 8 AM and you prefer to go directly to the hotel for some rest, a supplement for an additional night is required.
Morning drive to Jaipur is known as the "Pink City" after the rusty colour that many of the houses are painted. With beautiful palaces, forts, gardens, temples, and unending market streets, it has a bit of everything that Rajasthan has to offer.
Today we take an excursion to Amber Fort, the palace complex which stands to this date was commenced under the reign of Raja Man Singh. We take an elephant ride to reach the fort situated on the hill, an overwhelming experience. Later we visit the City Palace, a perfect blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture.
The center of the palace is a seven-storied building called Chandra Palace, with fine views over the gardens and the city. Further we visit Jantar Mantar (Solar Observatory), an astronomical treasure house, with solar devices that give accurate predictions till date. We also visit Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), a five-storied structure of pink sandstone. It was built in the year 1799 so that veiled royal women could peer down the busy street market unseen by the world through its 593 stone Jharokas (mini windows).
Overnight stay in Jaipur.
After breakfast drive to Agra - the ancient city once the capital of the Mughal empire in the 16th & 17th century, depicting a gorgeous panaorama of majestic architectural creations and a rich tradition of art and culture. Agra houses one of seven wonders of the world, the marble symphony of Emperor Shah Jahan - "The Taj Mahal". On arrival check in. Overnight stay in Agra.
Transfer to the train station. Train to Gwalior. Tour of Gwalior, dominated by its fort, for century the rampart of the city, erected on top of a hill. Sorrounded by imposing walls, it holds palaces and temples inside. You'll visit Man Singh and two interesting temples. While descending the slopes of the hill, you'll discover an entier side is engraved with magnificent Jain statues, dating back to the mid 15th century.
Continue to Orccha. Arrival in Orccha and check in. Evening walk to the temple dedicated to God Rama and participation to the evening prayer. Overnight.
In the morning visit Khajuraho and its superb temples. They feature erotic sculptures inspired by Tantrism, an esoteric initiatory doctrine which says that Nirvana is obtained through control of physical pleasure as well as spiritual and meditative disciplines.
Departure to Allahabad. In the late afternoon arrival in Allahabad and check in to the hotel. Allahabad, located on the confluence of Gange and Yamuna, is considered as one of the holiest places in India. Here, once every twelve years, the great celebration of the Kumbh Mela takes place: milion of Hindus gather on Tribeni Ghat for the great purifying bath. Arrival and check in to the tented camp. Night and dinner at the hotel.
Breakfast in the hotel. Visit to the ashrams of the various Hindu sects where the chiefs give their sermons. Lunch and dinner at the tented camp.
Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning, boat ride on the holy river Ganges sliding beside the Bathing Ghats, the stone steps where the pilgrims go to pray and greet the rising sun with the ritual ablutions.
Visit the most significant places and monuments of the city: the ghats on the Ganges, the Durga temple, also called "Temple of the Monkey God" and the Golden Vishvanath Temple. During the tour you will walk through the maze of lanes making up the Chowk, the most animated bazaar in the city, famous for the perfumes and incense, the embroidered silk, wrought copper and brass.
At the end of the tours, transfer by AC2 night train to Delhi in second class.
Breakfast in the hotel.
Transfer to the airport and departure.
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