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Aussienet Holidays trading as Aussienet Travel

 ABN 43 609 963 644 ACN 609 963 644

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All prices quoted are in Australian Dollars and per person based on twin sharing basis inclusive of Taxes & Charges *Subject to change and availability

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 ESSENTIAL INDIA 

TOUR COST from AU$3,777.00** Per Person Twin Share

Day 01 ARRIVE DELHI 

Arrive at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport. As guests exit, you will be met and transferred from airport to Le Meridien hotel.                

DELHI – INDIA’S PAST AND ITS FUTURE

 

“I asked my soul what is Delhi? 

It replied the world is the body; Delhi is its soul….. is how a 19th century poet described this city that has ever been so many things to so many different people. To the weary travellers on the ancient silk route it was the first plain after having crossed the Himalayan Mountains with the promise of shelter, food and business opportunities. To the Afghan, Turk, Greek, Arab and Roman kings it was a vast and inexhaustible source of treasures of all kinds ­ to the Chinese travelers it was the land of knowledge and wisdom. Its ageless face saw the advent of Islam. ­It saw empires being built and destroyed or even merely dismantled to make way for the new ­ and Delhi lived on….

The British created their own Delhi ­ with large well planned avenues and planted 10000 trees with a 112 Kms of hedges that it would be green round the year­ abundant with flowers ­ a botanical paradise. The seat of the British Empire ­ Delhi of 1911 was planned to resemble ‘an Englishman dressed for the climate’. Its planners and main architects decided that it would be neither Hindu, nor Muslim, nor Buddhist, nor English nor Roman but IMPERIAL a house for the Viceroy that resembled ‘a giant Indian bungalow, embattled Rajput fortress and Mughal tomb ­ with shades of Buckingham Palace ­ with English country house comforts. Delhi is perhaps the only city in the world that fuses its past present and evokes its future without losing an iota of its identity. ­ 1300 monuments speak of her antiquity ­ of the ambitions of men who thought they could hold on to her ­but history proved otherwise. A popular superstition is that it is also known as the ‘graveyard of dynasties’ with every one of its cities built there heralding the death the dynasty that built it. 

 

Thus, Delhi is a Melting Pot of cultures, politics and religions of India’s colorful past in its monuments, its palaces, and in the faces of its people that they narrate the story of their glorious past.

 

New Delhi is the capital of modern India.

 

 Overnight: Le Meridien (Executive room) 

Day 02 DELHI

Breakfast at the hotel.

09.00 hrs:       Old Delhi – Happily Chaotic!

We proceed for our unique yet fascinating experience of Old Delhi.  Drive past the Red Fort followed by “cycle rickshaws” through the lanes of “Chandni Chowk” or Silver Street, experiencing the sights and sounds of this very busy Avenue heading west from the Fort. Chandni Chowk literally means “moonlit crossroads” and an area which best represents the “super-

Oriental”- the glory and the guile; the grandeur and the grime, with its crowded bazaars, twisting lanes, maze of small streets strange aromas, the pungent odour of Oriental spices, the cries of shopkeepers, coolies and “rickshaw- walas” and the clatter and whirr of furious industry. The thrill of being driven through the narrow, winding lanes is a memorable experience. This is perhaps one of Delhi's most populated areas and the largest marketplace.

15.00 hrs:       New Delhi: Touch of Faith, Philosophy & British India  

We drive to one of the most colonial part of New Delhi called Raisina Hill. Drive past the Viceroy's House (now known as Rashtrapati Bhawan, present residence of the President of India) Lutyen's magnum opus; the India Gate, a war memorial arch.

 

We then drive past a Sikh place of worship called a Gurdwara or Temple. This shrine is the scene of constant devotional music, whose ethereal tones are relayed throughout the entire complex.  A Sikh temple without a Community Kitchen or “Langar” is inconceivable. Food is serviced in the kitchen of the Gurudwara 24 hours to all visitors without any distinction of caste, creed, color or religion. All people - high or low, rich or poor sit in the same queue. Approximately 40,000 visitors share meals every day.

 

The discovery of New Delhi with a visit to Qutab Minar which is Delhi's Eiffel Tower, its Statue of Liberty and Nelson's Column. Visit the mosques, mausoleums and ruins of forts that lie around it.

 

Later visit the Humayun’s tomb - the magnificent structure in red sandstone and white marble – one of the finest examples of the garden tomb and a precursor to the Taj Mahal.  

 

 Overnight: Le Meridien (Executive room) 

Day 03 DELHI – VARANASI (AI406-1015/1135)

08.00 hrs:       Checkout and drive to Jaipur enroute stopovers for refreshments. 

11.35 hrs:       Arrive Varanasi; you will be met and transferred to your hotel. 

Varanasi - The Holy City                          

The north Indian city of Varanasi, or Benares, is regarded as holy by Hindus, Buddhists and Jains.  Situated in the fertile Ganga valley and on the banks of the Ganges, Varanasi is a place of pilgrimage for Hindus, who come to bathe in the holy river.  Known as the City of Temples and a beacon of culture, Varanasi has produced many renowned writers.  It is also a centre of silk weaving, so practice haggling in the chaotic bazaar for some beautiful souvenirs.  Rickshaws are the best way to get about.

15.30 hrs: Evening visit at the Ghats to witness Ganga Aarti (Worship of Ganges) on board a boat.

 

 Overnight: The Gateway Hotel Ganges (Standard Room)

Day 05 VARANASI-KHAJURAHO (AI 406-1210/1440 HRS)

Breakfast at the hotel 

09.30 hrs:   Check out from the hotel and drive to Varanasi Airport to board your flight to Khajuraho.

14.40 hrs:  Arrive Khajuraho; you will be met and transferred to the hotel.

Khajuraho or 'Khajur-vahika (bearer of date palms)

Located in the provincial state of Madhya Pradesh, Khajuraho is know the world over for its temples, architecture and sculpture.  The constructions of these Temples are thousand-year old.  Many of the 85 temples believed to have been built between the 9th and 12th centuries, only 20 have survived, many in splendid condition, others having given way to the ravages of time and nature.  By the time the last temple was completed by the Chandela dynasty, the dynasty had sunk into oblivion.  Khajuraho was the Chandela capital for only a brief period;  they ruled for the most part from Kalinjar and other parts of the Bundelkhand region, with Khajuraho remaining their religious centre.  The most important aspect of the temples is the abundance of sculptures that decorate the facades and interiors of the shrines.

18.00 hrs:  Witness light and sound show.

 

Overnight: The Lalit Temple View (Deluxe room)

Day 06  KHAJURAHO
Breakfast at the hotel

10.00 hrs:     Eastern Group of Temples.

The Eastern temples are partly Jain and partly Hindu.  The most striking is the Parsvanath Temple, with its exquisite sculptures depicting everyday activity.  There is a bull-emblem of the first Tirthankara, Adinath.  It is a fine instance of sensitive art without any sexual motifs.  Near this temple is the temple of Adinath, which has some fine carvings.  The temple is structurally like the Hindu temples of Khajuraho.  In fact, it is this Jain-Hindu combination that is singularly interesting about the Eastern Group of temples.  Only a century old, Shantinath is the most recent of all the temples in Khajuraho.  Visited by the Digambar Jains, the temple houses a four and a half metre statue of Adinath.  The Ghantai Temple, mostly in ruins now, has fine columns and chains and bells, with a figure of a Jain goddess on a garuda.  Mainly built of granite and sandstone, the temple of Brahma and Hanuman is one of the oldest temples in Khajuraho.

 

11.30 hrs:      Western Group of Temples, in the heart of the town, are the most famous temples of Khajuraho, with the mithunas (couples) gandharvas, apsaras, vidyadaras and kinaras.  The images of the apsaras are stunning, with their sensuous poses and liquid movements.  There are the unforgettable images of a maiden adorning herself before a mirror, applying kohl on her eyes, plaiting her long hair, removing a thorn from her foot.  The erotic images, almost acrobatic orgiastic scenes have been associated with Tantric rituals and practices.  However , it's not so much the sexual aspect but the grace, energy and feeling that strikes one most about these images.  The eyes, the face and the body are poetry of pure emotive movement.

The rest of the day at leisure.

 

Overnight:  The Lalit Temple View (Deluxe room)                                 

 

Day 04  VARANASI

06.00 hrs:       A short boat cruise is proposed to watch the early morning activities on the Ghats.

Breakfast at the hotel

10.00 hrs:    Visit Banaras Hindu University

Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya founded this centre of excellence just a few months before the Russian Revolution in 1917.  The BHU has resisted the decay and violence that U.P. universities are renowned for and 80 years on, it continues to be respected as a centre of education in Indian art, culture, music and Sanskrit.  The most interesting feature of this sprawling university is the Bharat Kala Mandir, which houses a fine collection of miniature sculptures and paintings.

14.00 hrs:     Drive to Sarnath.

Buddhism rules Sarnath because this is where Buddha preached his first Sermon and which thus making it one of the four holiest places to the Buddhist world.  Sarnath is an important temple city of India.  The town is relatively peaceful and green, and so also provides a welcome alternative to Varanasi as a place to stay for people visiting the Ghats along the Ganges.

Return to the Hotel.

Overnight:  The Gateway Hotel Ganges (Standard Room)

                            

 Overnight: Anuraga Palace (Deluxe room)

 

Day 07  KHAJURAHO - ORCHHA (175 kMS/3.5 HRS DRIVE APPROX)

Breakfast at the Hotel

09.00 hrs:       Check out from the hotel and drive to Orchha

Orchha means 'Hidden' and lies near the banks of Betwa River.  The medieval city of Orchha seems to have frozen in time, its palaces and temples still retaining their original grandeur.  Orchha had the distinction of being the capital of one of the largest and most powerful kingdoms of Central India.  The Bundela Rajput chieftain, Rudra Pratap, found the city, located by the side of the beautiful Betwa River, in the 26th century.

13.00 hrs:      Arrive Orchha and check in at the hotel.

15.00 hrs:      This afternoon visit to Orchha fort

Orchha Fort is situated on the island on Betwa River.  The scenic location apart, the fort has more to offer.  It houses many palaces and temples.  The three most important palaces seen here are Jahangir Mahal, Raj Mahal and the famous Rai Parveen Mahal.  Jahangir Mahal reflects the architectural splendor that prevailed in Orchha in the past.  The views from the multi-storeyed balconies in the palace are spectacular.  Raj Mahal ranks amongst the most ancient historic monuments in Orchha fort.  Rai Parveen Mahal, which is in ruins now was a beautiful palace with lush gardens surrounding it.  Rai Parveen was a poetess and a dancer.  Her charm so attracted the King Indramani who built the palace for her.

Overnight:  Ush Kiran Palace (Superior room)

                            

 Overnight: Anuraga Palace (Deluxe room)

 

Day 08  ORCHHA - GWALIOR (124 Kms / 3hours drive approx.)
Breakfast at the hotel

10.00 hrs:     Check out and drive to Gwalior Enroute visit Pool Bagh, Dinman Herdaul's palace and Sunder Mahal.

Gwalior is one of the most popular cities in Madhya Pradesh and has some great places to visit.  The might Gwalior fort is its most precious jewel.  The Scindia museum and the Saas Bahu temple are popular among tourists.  You can also visit the Kala Vithika which is a famous museum.

 

16.00 hrs:      Arrive Gwalior and check in at the hotel

18.00 hrs:      In the evening enjoy light and sound show.

Overnight:  Usha Kiran Palace (Superior room)                                 

 

Day 09  GWALIOR 
Breakfast at the hotel

10.00 hrs:     Visit to Gwalior fort.

This fort has many historical monuments within.  It includes the Man Mandir Palace and Gurjari Mahal.  The main entrance is called the Hathi Pul Gate and the other entrance is call the Bagalgarh Gate.  The fort rampart is laid along the hill's periphery and is connected by 6 towers.  The complet fort wall gives a uniform look and gives out a unique appearance.

 

15.00 hrs:      Visit to Jai Vilas Palace & Museum

Jai Vilas Palace is one of the grandest buildings of Gwalior.  This beautiful palace was established back in the year 1874 by Jayajirao Scindia, the Maharaja of Gwaloior.  The palace features a beautiful blend of Tuscan, Italian and Corinthian styles of architecture.

Out of the 400 rooms of the palace, 40 rooms have been transformed into Jiwaji Rao Scindia Museum.  While a part of the palace has been converted into a museum, one part is still the residence of the descendants of the former royal Maratha Scindia dynasty.

A visit to the palace makes you explore the royal times of the Maratha Scindia dynasty.  The visit makes you flip back the pages of the luxurious lifestyle of the kings and queens of those times.

Overnight:  Usha Kiran Palace (Superior room)                                 

 

Day 10   GWALIOR-AGRA
(119Kms/3 Hrs Drive Approx)

Breakfast at the Hotel

09.00 hrs:       Check out from the hotel and drive to Agra.

Agra - The city that created the most extravagant monument ever built for love.

12.00 hrs:      Arrive Agra and check in at the hotel.

Agra city is a virtual gateway to a world of ciscover.  It has witnessed the rise of the pomp and pageantry of three great Mughal monardhs - Akbar, Janagir and Shah Jehan, all of whom lavished on this fabled city their love and riches to transform the land into one of the greatest centres of art, culture, learning and commerce.  Much of the city's impressive past lives in evidence even today, in the haunting presence inside the monuments and in the majesty of the buildings.

14.00 hrs:      Visit to the Agra Fort.

The Agra Fort's construction was started by Emperor Akbar in 1565 when he was just 23 years of age.

Within the fort are serveral fascinating buildings - the Pearl Mosque built of marble, the Hall of Public Audiences, the Hall of Private Audiences where the famous "peacock throne" was kept, the Octagonal Tower, the Jahangir Palace built by Akbar for his son Jahangir and the Khas Mahal, a beautiful white marble structure used as a private palace.

Continue to the Itimad Ud Daulah, the least visited of the three most important monuments of Agra.  Also, known as the Baby Taj, it was built for Gheyas Beg, who was a Wazir in Jehangir's court and whose daughter Mehrunissa was later married to Jehangir.

16.00 hrs:    Visit to the Taj mahal to see this monument by the light of the setting sun.

It is said that the world is divided into two parts;  those who have seen the Taj Mahal and those who have not.

Overnight:  Trident (Deluxe Garden view room)

Day 11   AGRA-RAMATHRA (206 Kms / 4hours drive approx.)
Breakfast at the hotel

09.00 hrs:     Check out and depart for Ramathra, en-route visiting the abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri - this exquisite city built by Akbar the Great in 1569, in red sandstone, with its forts, palaces and mosques was abandoned 14 years after its creation due to political reasons.

It is a visual experience of an ancient city abandoned by its ruler and yet well preserved to this day.  One can visualise the splendour and glory of a bygone era.  Fatehpur Sikri radiates a true sense of faith and belief in oneself and in God.  Even today, people visit a shrine within the complex to pray for a better life.

 

16.00 hrs:      Arrive and check in at the hotel.  The rest of the day at leisure.

Overnight:  Ramathra Fort  (Deluxe room)                                 

 

Day 12  RAMATHRA-JAIPUR 
(185 Kms/5 hrs drive approx.) 
Breakfast at the hotel

08.30 hrs:    Proceed to the tour of Ramathra Fort, which is situated in the Karauli district of Rajasthan between several wildlife parks.  It provides you a commanding view of countryside and massive walls of the fort look spectacular.

 

10.00 hrs:      Check out and drive to Jaipur

16.00 hrs:      Arrive Jaipur and check in at the hotel.

Jaipur - The City of Royalty

Jaipur was one of the first examples in the world of city planning.  The 250 year old city is a startling blend of forts and palaces, of teeming markets, shops and transport of every kind, from cars to camels!

Jaipur today, is the capital of Rajasthan with a population of over 1.5 million people.  Jaipur is called the "Pink City", for by law all the buildings in the old city must be painted a deep saffron-pink.  It is especially known for its arts and crafts:  jewellery, enamel work, hand-painted fabrics and stone sculptures.  Above everything, Jaipur is an extraordinary colourful place.  On its streets, you wee women in their brilliant red and orange head coverings and sweeping skirts, and me in their equally vivid turbans and upturned moustaches.  Jaipur is also a city of polo which is played on horseback, elephants and at times on bicycles!

Overnight:  Trident (Deluxe Garden View room)                                 

 

Day 13   JAIPUR

Breakfast at the Hotel

08.30 hrs:       Amber-The Medieval Rajput Citadel.

"I have seen many royal palaces, but for varied and picturesque effect, for the richness of carving, for wild beauty of situation and the strangeness of finding such a building in such a place and country, I am able to compare nothing with Amber." Bishop Hever, 1824..

Amber, the former capital of Jaipur state is stunningly situated on a hillside and overlooking a lake which reflects its terraces and ramparts.  To add the spirit of adventure and royalty, we ascend the hill on elephant back (subject to availability).  Amber is a fortified complex of many splendid palaces evolved over a period of six centuries.

15.00 hrs:    Visit to 953 little windows and balconies.

Proceed to the highly ornamented Hawa Mahal or the Palace of Winds built in 1799 which has no less than 953 little windows and balconies.  It is a stunning example of Rajput artistry and was originally built to enable ladies of the royal household to watch the everyday life in the streets below through the delicately honeycombed sandstone windows.

Later visit the imposing City Palace now a museum, this was the former royal residence built in a blend of the Rajasthani and Mughal styles which now houses a museum with a superb collection of Rajasthani costumes and armoury of the Mughals and Rajputs.  Also, visit the ancient Observatory and drive past the picturesque bazaars of the walled city.

We also have the option to embark on an adventure of discover of the city of Jaipur as we take bicycle rickshaws to the narrow and winding lanes of the city markets experiencing the various interesting sights and sounds, thereafter walking tour through the bustling bazaars.  Free time for souvenir shopping - Jaipur is renowned for textile block printing, blue pottery, carpet weaving, semi precious stones and local crafts which still thrive from the day of Maharaja Jai Singh's patronage when he designed special areas in the city for the 'bandhanas', the 'cheepas' and the 'meenakari' workers.

Overnight:  Trident (Deluxe Garden view room)

Day 14   JAIPUR - DELHI  (245 Kms / 5hours drive approx.)
DEPART DELHI (FLIGHT TBA)
Breakfast at the hotel

09.00 hrs:     Check out and drive to Delhi enroute stopovers for refreshments.

15.00 hrs:      Arrive Delhi; you will be met and transfer to the International Airport to board your flight home. 

 

Tour Cost Includes:
  • 13 nights accommodation in a twin share room as per the hotels mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Daily  Buffet Breakfast at all the hotels mentioned, except Ramathra Fort where all meas are included.
  • All transportation, transfers and sightseeing by an exclusive chauffeur driven air-conditioned Toyota Innova
  • Elephant ride at Amer Fort in Jaipur (subject to availability).
  • Boat on River Ganges in Varanasi.
  • Light and sound show in Khajuraho.
  • Meet and Greet services in all cities to be visited.
  • All entrance fees to monuments during sightseeing.
  • Service of an English-speaking guide for all sight-seeing.
  • All applicable taxes.
Tour Cost Excludes:
  • Meals other than specified above.
  • Any air fare.
  • Any expense of a personal nature like liquor, laundry, telephone calls etc.
  • Not valid for travel between 25 December 2019 to 5 January 2020.  Please contact Aussienet Travel for rates during this period.
  • Any camera charges (still or video).
  • Any other expense not mentioned in the price includes column.
  • Charges for any optional tours apart from the itinerary.
Notes:
  • Check-in/Check-out time at most of the hotels in India is 1400/1200 hours.
  • The Red Fort, Delhi is closed on Monday.
  • Sarnath Museum is closed on Friday.
  • The above rates are valid for a minimum of 2 paying passengers as per the itinerary for dates as mentioned above.
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